Boeing, Engineering Union Begin Contract Talks

Boeing [NYSE: BA] today jointly opened the main-table contract negotiations with the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), the union representing more than 17,500 engineering and technical employees working primarily in Washington and Oregon.

"These talks are important to all of us at Boeing because this is about how we recognize our technical team for their accomplishments, and how we work together -- in an environment of respect -- to secure a strong, competitive future for all of us," said Alan Mulally, Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive officer.

"We'll work with SPEEA to understand the important issues so we can make choices around priorities and put together a total package that works for employees and supports our business plan," he said.

Leading the negotiations team for Boeing is Jerry Calhoun, Human Resources vice president for Commercial Airplanes. He is joined by Mike Denton, vice president of Commercial Airplanes Engineering, and Jack Murphy, Integrated Defense Systems vice president of Mission Assurance. The union negotiations team spokesman is Charles Bofferding, SPEEA executive director.

Boeing expects to provide a best and final offer around mid-November. SPEEA members will vote on the offer by mail prior to the current contract expiration Dec. 1.

Separate negotiations covering about 800 SPEEA-represented employees will start Nov. 8 in Wichita, Kans., for a contract that expires Dec. 5.

Boeing employs about 65,000 people in the Seattle area, Wichita and Portland, developing and supporting a range of commercial and defense products and services, including the innovative 787 Dreamliner; the 777, 767, 747 and 737 airliners; the P-8A Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft; AWACS; the 737 airborne early warning and control aircraft (Wedgetail); Sea Launch; Future Combat Systems programs; and Connexion by Boeing high-speed Internet, data and entertainment service.

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Debbie Nomaguchi