According to the release, Boeing engineers represented by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) have approved a new employment contract with the global plane manufacturer. Boeing technical employees, however, voted to reject what Boeing called its "best and final offer," and have authorized a strike.
According to Ray Conner, CEO and president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, "We believe this offer leads the market in every way." No timeline was mentioned of when Boeing's technical workers union would initiate strike proceedings.
According to a press release on the SPEEA website, engineers in the professional unit accepted Boeing's four-year contract offer with 54% of the 11,997 members who cast ballots voting to accept. Members in the technical unit rejected the company’s offer with 52.8% of the 6,071 members who cast ballots voting to reject. Technical workers granted strike authorization by a vote of 3,903 to 2,165.
SPEEA last struck Boeing in 2000 when more than 19,000 engineers and technical workers walked off the job for 40 days, according to the union. The union plans a press conference for Friday to outline the impact of a strike. The former SPEEA contracts expired in November. Retirement benefits remain a sticking point.