New contract

You’ve most likely heard the positive news today. We have a new four-year contract with SPEEA-represented professional and technical employees.

They ratified the contracts and announced the results last night. The agreement covers about 21,000 employees.

As was the case with the earlier IAM negotiations, Boeing’s goal, as our lead negotiator Doug Kight said, was to reach agreements on contracts “that reward our employees for their contributions to our success while enabling the company to sustain its success in an increasingly tough economy.”

That last part is key. This is indeed a tough time, not only for our industry, but for the entire global economy.

We’ve weathered tough storms in the past, and this one is up there with the most challenging of times. It’s not going to be easy, but now we can put our entire focus forward.

Comments (4)

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

I am glad for the new contract negotiation, the next couple of years are going to be difficult in terms of orders and parts supplies and the more cooperation there is between labor an management in difficult times, the better Boeing will ride the recession.

Gordon Werner (Seattle, WA):

This has nothing to do with the contract passing ... but since Mr. Tinseth posted about the A380 being too quiet ... I thought he'd get a kick out of this story in Flight International:

"Airbus to help Emirates pilots sleep after crews find A380 'too quiet"

Barun Majumdar (Seattle, WA, USA):

More than ever, innovation will play a key role for our success in the challenging period ahead.

pat gorman (Kent, WA):

When employees perceive that management treats them as stakeholders, and balances their needs and desires against available resources and customers, suppliers and stockholders, unions as such will become unnecessary.

When employees become convinced that "open and honest" is true- and that can be done by consistent example, effective daily management, and avoiding unnecessary missteps (787, tanker and AEW&C, anyone?), this is likely to occur. Negotiations between opponents are by definition not open and honest, however respectful they may be.

Unions would then likely morph into more of an "ombudsman/ consultant/ advocate" role if offered proper access and attention, which would benefit both organizations. If the unions chose not to accept the role, they'd end up marginalizing themselves with their constituents.

As neither management nor employees as groups are innately corrupt and badly broken, the solution is properly setting expectations and communicating effectively within and between management and the rank and file. Difficult, but not impossible.

If and when this issue gets worked, I'd love to participate. We could move Boeing closer to the ideal. Lean on a corporate scale, if you will.

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