Machinists win tentative deal with Boeing

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) announced Oct. 27 that it has reached a tentative agreement with the Boeing Company on a contract that will improve job security for its members and curb the amount of work the company can outsource.

The agreement came after a five day period of talks in which federal mediators participated. The union was represented at the bargaining table by IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger and IAM General Vice President Rich Michalski.

Job security and outsourcing were critical issues in the strike that began Sept. 6. Other issues resolved by the negotiators were wages, health care benefits for current and future employees, pensions, and, according to a union statement, “work rule changes designed to improve productivity.”

A union spokesman reached by phone would not give further details of the accord. They will not be released, he said, until they can be compiled and distributed to union members at all Boeing locations.

The tentative accord has the unanimous backing of the IAM negotiating committee and will be presented to members for a ratification vote. A simple majority of the vote, which will take place within five days, is required for contract ratification.

“This tentative agreement is the result of hard work and sacrifice by many people,” said IAM Aerospace Coordinator Mark Blondin. “But no one deserves more credit than the workers at Boeing, who conducted themselves with dignity and determination throughout this ordeal. On behalf of the entire negotiating committee, I want to say it has been an honor to serve as their representatives.”

The IAM represents 27,000 workers at Boeing facilities in Kansas, Oregon, Washington and California.