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Leeham; Boeing/SPEEA Talks Go Downhill  
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5416 posts, RR: 30
Posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6441 times:

With the rhetoric ramping up between the union and management, it looking more likely they're heading for a strike. Specifically, what areas and programs would this affect the most?

http://leehamnews.wordpress.com/2013...11/speea-boeing-talks-go-downhill/

Quote:
Talks didn’t exactly break off between Boeing and its engineers’ union, but by all appearances, it seems pretty close to doing so.

The Boeing Company today presented a partially modified offer to our Prof and Tech Negotiation teams, but was unwilling to provide our team with a complete document. The pieces provided indicate smaller wage and Ed Wells training program cuts than previously proposed. Verbally, the company indicated that they still intend medical cost increases, elimination of the pension for future hires and reduction of growth in retirement benefits for the existing 23,000 engineers and technical workers.

In a departure from long standing practice, Boeing refused to provide the offer electronically today, but indicated they will do so next week. Working through federal mediators, the company said it needed four days to assemble all the pieces of its offer into a complete document.:



What the...?
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSonomaFlyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1761 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6406 times:
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Boeing said it will provide the complete document next week, would it have been preferable to have given nothing to the other side in the meantime?

It looks like big issues include pension and health care, the company wants larger employee participation in cost increases etc and wishes to contain pension costs. Doesn't look different from most of the other large companies addressing these issues.

Hopefully they will sort it all out and for the planes must flow (out the door at Boeing).


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30855 posts, RR: 86
Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6362 times:
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Quoting JoeCanuck (Thread starter):
Specifically, what areas and programs would this affect the most?

SPEEA last struck in 2000 and then only for a couple of days. So I would expect no impact if they strike again as I doubt they're going to sit out for weeks, much less months.

Should they prove me wrong, then the 787-9 program would likely be most at risk as it's closest to moving forward. The 777X and 737 MAX programs are still years away.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6209 times:

Quoting JoeCanuck (Thread starter):
Specifically, what areas and programs would this affect the most?

All operations in Puget Sound would stop in pretty short order. The most immediate impact would be the cessation of deliveries.

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 1):

Boeing said it will provide the complete document next week, would it have been preferable to have given nothing to the other side in the meantime?

SPEEA gave their complete document to Boeing back in September...it's not like they haven't had time.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
SPEEA last struck in 2000 and then only for a couple of days.

Forty days isn't really " a couple".

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
So I would expect no impact if they strike again as I doubt they're going to sit out for weeks, much less months.

As soon as they strike, deliveries stop. During the last strike Boeing tried to bring managers who used to be Designated Engineering Reps back into that function to sign off FAA paperwork...the FAA said "no dice." I don't see any reason to think they won't say the same thing. Presumably, Charleston would continue delivering.

Tom.


User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5416 posts, RR: 30
Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5991 times:

Let's hope it doesn't come to a strike...in the long and short run...everybody loses..


What the...?
User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7115 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5861 times:

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 4):
Let's hope it doesn't come to a strike...in the long and short run...everybody loses..

Unfortunately, the existing mindset in management, investors and politicians renders that untrue.
In all industries, labour is taking the hit for poor management decisions, maybe if retirees and penshioners came on the news to state how much they have had to cut back because the interest income from their shares fell we would be more understanding or fair in our assesments.
Today we immediately see the plight of labour when wages and benefits are cut, we do not see the same when Boeing shares lost $1.50 over the incident in Boston, if a few billion was wiped out in stock value, was there real suffering involved?
Is this like the rich should pay more because they can afford it at no cost?

Management is obviously looking to reduce labour cost as much as possible, and based on past and current history, they are willing to go to a strike, which means that they think the savings benefit will out weigh the losses - a winner -.
Conspiracy theorist will say the sooner it happens the better, as it will divert attention away from the Dreamliner and its problems and if delays on the 787-9 and MAX are already foreseen, will provide cover and place blame where most are content to let it go. The fact that Boeing will be even later to the NB party and loose more market share is inconsequential to the point that existing management and their investors may want to make.
A 20% market share Boeing under their ideals is more beneficial than a 50% share Boeing under joint management and labour rules.

Unfortunately, all sort of issues are involved in getting us to where we are today, if SEEPA provided their documents back in Sep and Boeing with all their lawyers, financial and investment bankers are still this late providing theirs, it signifies that there is much more going on, what, is the reason for speculation.


User currently offlineSonomaFlyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1761 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5662 times:
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There could be disagreement within Boeing about how best to counter the union proposals. Things get complicated when you are trying to forecast out costs in some categories and how hard Boeing pushes on its counter could either help or hurt the process which could lead to a strike.

Medical: Looking at the SEEPA website, Boeing engineers don't appear to pay premiums on their health care coverage for single or family coverage. I can certainly understand wanting to keep that but this is out of the norm in many companies today.

Retirement: Boeing wants to switch from a pension plan to a 401k for new hires. Again, that is standard in many industries and this trend is only accelerating. There's also a dispute about the increases to pension contributions going forward.

According to the union, Boeing's pension plan is fully funded which is great news given how many government agencies and companies have underfunded their plans.

Salary: As with any negotiation, there's a dispute about wage increases. Boeing has done well so it's not unreasonable for employees to want raises. How much of a raise of course is in dispute. Given the economic climate, Boeing and its employees are in the minority since so many companies are cutting wages, benefits and staff.

There is definitely room for an agreement. How likely it is depends on the parties but having a premium free health care plan is something that will likely go away. Pensions are a stickier issue given Boeing is doing well but a two tiered system is likely again given the trends nationwide.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5532 times:

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 6):
Medical: Looking at the SEEPA website, Boeing engineers don't appear to pay premiums on their health care coverage for single or family coverage.

This is partly true; SPEEA's contract includes that there be one plan with no premiums...as you'd expect, this is the most basic plan. There are several other plans where the employees pay a share.

Tom.


User currently offlinefrmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1713 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4584 times:

A pension paying about 50-60% requires about an 18% contribution. Why doesn't Boeing and the unions set up an independent pension system, someone has commented that the current one is 100% funded. Employers and employees are better off with an independent fully funded system. Workers can decide how to allocate total work package - salary, medical, retirement and other benefits. Advantage to employer - at the end of the year they have met all obligations for their workers. Advantage to employees - their pension and benefits are theirs.


Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3045 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4320 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
SPEEA last struck in 2000 and then only for a couple of days. So I would expect no impact if they strike again as I doubt they're going to sit out for weeks, much less months.

You are very misinformed and very incorrect about what happened. It was 40 days and had a huge impact, as it would now. You might want to check your facts first before posting factual inaccuracies.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30855 posts, RR: 86
Reply 10, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4245 times:
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Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 3):
Forty days isn't really " a couple".
Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 9):
You might want to check your facts first before posting factual inaccuracies.

I was going off a news report, but they were evidently speaking of the one day walkout SPEEA held in January 1993.

[Edited 2013-01-12 18:45:50]

User currently offlinePlaneAdmirer From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 561 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4192 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 9):
You are very misinformed and very incorrect about what happened. It was 40 days and had a huge impact, as it would now. You might want to check your facts first before posting factual inaccuracies.

First off Stitch was corrected in Reply 3. Secondly, Stitch is one of the most accurate and knowledgeable posters on this site. People make mistakes.


User currently offlineF9animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5025 posts, RR: 28
Reply 12, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4136 times:

SPEEA still has to do a strike authorization vote. I suspect that will take place very soon. Boeing is not bargaining in good faith, and SPEEA has filed several suits for unfair labor practices. I am pretty sure a strike is going to happen. The relations during negotiations has been pretty bad.


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlinehhslax2 From Bahrain, joined Jan 2012, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3724 times:

Does the 787 grounding help Boeing or SPEEA more? Or does it buy more negotiation time?

User currently offlineF9animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5025 posts, RR: 28
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3591 times:

The 787 being grounded does not help SPEEA or Boeing in any way. But, the grounding does give time to fix the problems with the airplane. I am glad they grounded it. I couldnt bear to see another breaking news story, or any further black eyes to the plane. Ground it, and go through it with a fine tooth comb.

Now, as for SPEEA and Boeing. Strike votes are going out very soon. Sources tell me next week. SPEEA is recommending a vote to strike, and to vote no on the offer. I see a strike coming in February. With Boeing trying to stick new hires on a 401kinstead of a pension is a no go. It is about 40% less retirement than the pension. And, the members suspect Boeing would use the new hires in the future to slice current members pensions. Jimbo McNerney Boeings CEO is the head of the roundtable of CEOs working hard to lobby Congress into making retirement age now 70 years old. He has really pissed off his employees.



I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently onlinePlanesNTrains From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 5490 posts, RR: 29
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 4 weeks ago) and read 3511 times:

Quoting F9animal (Reply 14):
The 787 being grounded does not help SPEEA or Boeing in any way.

We'll see. I'm not going to predict anything, but I'd like to know who is responsible for designing the electrical system of the grounded Dreamliners? I'm guessing it wasn't management.   

-Dave



Next Trip: SEA-ABQ-SEA on Alaska
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3045 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3234 times:

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 15):
but I'd like to know who is responsible for designing the electrical system of the grounded Dreamliners? I'm guessing it wasn't management.

Very wrong and unfair to state that. Engineers can only do their best within constraints and roadblocks put up by management.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3194 times:

Quoting hhslax2 (Reply 13):
Does the 787 grounding help Boeing or SPEEA more? Or does it buy more negotiation time?

Some of each...the grounding means SPEEA can't threaten to stop 787 deliveries (which would have to stop under a strike) because they're already stopped. But a strike would also mean SPEEA engineers aren't available to help solve the problem or certify the fix. Overall, I'd say the grounding is a loss to both sides, really.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 14):
Sources tell me next week. SPEEA is recommending a vote to strike, and to vote no on the offer. I see a strike coming in February.

An important thing to note is that SPEEA ballots are "Yes/No" on the contract and "Yes/No" on strike *authorization*...voting "Yes" for strike authorization is not the same as voting to strike.

Tom.


User currently offlineF9animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5025 posts, RR: 28
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3186 times:

I have to agree BoeinGuy. Again, neither Boeing or SPEEA get any benefit of the 787 being grounded. As for blaming SPEEA, I think it is premature to even go there. So much has been outsourced on this plane, that it would be stupid to point fingers and play the blame game. Had this plane been built in-house, I strongly feel the 787 wouldnt have had half of the teething problems that it has had. And to be fair, management brought a shell of an airplane to its workers, and begged them to make it fly as soon as possible.


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1955 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3143 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 7):
This is partly true; SPEEA's contract includes that there be one plan with no premiums...as you'd expect, this is the most basic plan. There are several other plans where the employees pay a share.

Tom.

I'm guessing they still pay way below what the market would dictate if they went elsewhere.

What would PPO coverage for a family cost at Boeing? I have very competitive benefits for an Engineer and I pay over $800 a month for my family to have health coverage (this doesn't include dental or vision). I've had some really solid job offers in the past year at very good companies and none were better.

Hopefully a strike doesn't come to pass.


User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9582 posts, RR: 52
Reply 20, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3089 times:

Quoting F9animal (Reply 14):
The 787 being grounded does not help SPEEA or Boeing in any way. But, the grounding does give time to fix the problems with the airplane. I am glad they grounded it. I couldnt bear to see another breaking news story, or any further black eyes to the plane. Ground it, and go through it with a fine tooth comb.

I respectfully disagree with that. SPEEA engineers are going to be the ones to get the 787 flying again. The ARs (authorized representatives) that are needed to get the Airworthiness Directive lifted or convince the FAA that there is a suitable fix are SPEEA represented. The executives like to think that they can have the ARs from Long Beach, service/support engineers from long beach and management step in and solve the problems, but I can’t imagine the FAA allowing it. I could easily see the FAA telling Boeing that until the correct responsible ARs approve the new design, the airplane won’t fly. Grounding the fleet hurts the airlines so much more than stopping deliveries. Most contracts have compensation involved for when a defective design grounds an airplane during the warranty period. With the engineers on strike, the airplanes would be grounded longer, or if they get in the air again a minor problem could result in another grounding. I think the 787 being grounded hurt the Boeing leadership side, and made the cost on Boeing of a strike much higher.

If you read the news articles, once the 787 was grounded, the sides went from far apart to almost agreeing on everything except one thing, which was the pension issue. I’d be surprised if the engineers strike over the pension for new hires alone, but it could happen.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineF9animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5025 posts, RR: 28
Reply 21, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2942 times:

Boeing straight out told SPEEA that they did not need their workers help with the 787 issues. This peeved the SPEEA union president. Boeing execs said they would manage just fine if SPEEA goes on strike.


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3045 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2901 times:

Quoting F9animal (Reply 21):
Boeing straight out told SPEEA that they did not need their workers help with the 787 issues. This peeved the SPEEA union president. Boeing execs said they would manage just fine if SPEEA goes on strike.


That's based on one thing one VP supposedly said, and he claims it was taken way out of context. I heard him respond yesterday to this very accusation and explain what he really said and meant.

I don't see anywhere where Boeing execs said they would manage fine if SPEEA goes on strike. That stuff is gross distortions made for posturing (and be clear, I am a SPEEA supporter, but I call a spade a spade and this accusation is distorted and incorrect).


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 23, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2828 times:

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 19):
I'm guessing they still pay way below what the market would dictate if they went elsewhere.

What would PPO coverage for a family cost at Boeing? I have very competitive benefits for an Engineer and I pay over $800 a month for my family to have health coverage (this doesn't include dental or vision).

Suffice to say, family PPO wouldn't cost that much. It's important to note that Boeing is self-insured though...they contract administration of the health care plan out (it's Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois right now) but Boeing actually pays all the claims. As a result, they're not in "the market", they're in their own market.

Tom.


User currently onlinePlanesNTrains From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 5490 posts, RR: 29
Reply 24, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2719 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 16):
Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 15):but I'd like to know who is responsible for designing the electrical system of the grounded Dreamliners? I'm guessing it wasn't management.
Very wrong and unfair to state that. Engineers can only do their best within constraints and roadblocks put up by management.

Well, it wasn't meant as a heavy comment so please consider it in a lighter context. However, the comment above was actually made to me by a friend inside Boeing. It was his take on it, valid or otherwise. There is a perception by *some* that SPEEA is not any more excited about this grounding and the repercussions than Boeing management is.

As far as "unfair" goes, I guess i should ask: Did SPEEA not design any of these systems or are you suggesting that they didn't design them properly because of constraints made upon them by Boeing management? I'm not looking for a fight - it's an honest question.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 18):
As for blaming SPEEA, I think it is premature to even go there.

Of course. My comment was not meant as a slam - it was more of a poke, somewhat in jest.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 18):
So much has been outsourced on this plane, that it would be stupid to point fingers and play the blame game. Had this plane been built in-house, I strongly feel the 787 wouldnt have had half of the teething problems that it has had.

I don't see anyone holding back in pointing fingers at management, so if there is a true design issue it would seem at least somewhat logical that those who did the designing might have some culpability in it.

In regards to outsourcing, I think your comments are very broad - when was the last time that a Boeing airliner was truly built entirely "in-house"? I know that the 787 went further in many respects than past designs but surely much of the actual design work was done in-house? I'm open to be educated on this, though.

FWIW, if you think I'm looking to disparage SPEEA, I'm not. My wife's brother is with SPEEA at Boeing and I'm sure they earn every penny.

-Dave



Next Trip: SEA-ABQ-SEA on Alaska
25 PW100 : Well I think that a main differentiator for the 787 was the fact that not only significant manufacturing was outsourced, but also the associated desi
26 Post contains images F9animal : PlanesNtrains, first I want to apologize. It is impossible to decipher a person when you only know them through a forum. We dont know if one is smilin
27 Post contains images PlanesNTrains : That was refreshing and much-appreciated. I certainly didn't mean any ill will towards SPEEA members or what they do. If they had no involvement in t
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