Boeing [NYSE: BA] employees represented by the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) in Long Beach., Calif., and Melbourne, Ark., voted Sunday to ratify a new three-year collective bargaining agreement. The vote came after six weeks of negotiations and the Company's best and final offer, which was made Thursday.
The contract covers approximately 2,850 production workers on the Integrated Defense Systems' C-17 program and Boeing Commercial Airplanes' 717 programs in Long Beach, and about 60 BCA Fabrication Division employees in Melbourne. Some SSG employees in Long Beach also are covered by the agreement.
"Our employees are the heart and soul of this company," said Jim Phillips, vice president and general manager 717 Program and Long Beach Division. "This agreement signals recognition by our union workers that this was a fair and competitive offer worthy of a world-class organization."
"The new contract, specifically the key economic issues -- compensation, health care and retirement -- is competitive with the market, on a local and national level," Phillips added. "The agreement is a continuation of the quality compensation and benefits already enjoyed by the Boeing workforce," he said.
Key features of the new contract include lump sum payments in years one and two and general wage increases in the first and third years. Future retirees (beginning June 1) will receive a $60 retirement benefit for each year of service -- up from $50. Most of the medical care plan options require a 10 percent premium contribution from employees. However, one option requires no monthly contribution from employees.The affected Long Beach employees are represented by UAW Local 148, and the Melbourne employees are represented by UAW Local 1482.
"Above all, this new contract preserves our ability to remain competitive and attract future work," said Howard Chambers, vice president and general manager of Integrated Defense Systems' Airlift and Tanker Programs. "That's the best job security of all."
A unit of The Boeing Company, Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $27 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.