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Prof and Tech Negotiations update – Nov. 15, 1012

This “negotiations update” from Boeing deserves a special response because of its startling amount of dishonesty and disrespect. I’ll break this message down by subject.

Proposed meeting:

It’s simply false that we had a negotiation session scheduled for Thursday. SPEEA had told Boeing that we could be available to meet Thursday. However, Boeing’s OWN GROUND RULE for these negotiations was that any negotiation session was to be scheduled 48 hours in advance. We’ve honored this request from Boeing and assumed that they’d follow their own rules.

Because Boeing hadn’t scheduled anything with us, our medical subject matter experts were dispatched to California to help resolve the Palmdale arbitration win. When Boeing called late Wednesday asking to meet with our medical subject matter experts, we explained that they were out of state but asked Boeing to send us their proposals anyway (which they refused to do).

So here’s the Boeing corporate trick: Ask for a meeting with people you know aren’t available, and then send an email to SPEEA members blaming SPEEA for refusing to meet with you. The dishonesty of this is startling. 

Why would Boeing send the members a message saying that they had proposals available but simultaneously refuse to provide those proposals to SPEEA? The sole purpose was to sow dissension.

Off-The-Record Meetings:

In collective bargaining, it’s not uncommon to have “off-the-record” meetings where the normal legal rules of bargaining are relaxed and both sides can have more candid discussions. These can be useful in breaking through problems where the normal rules of bargaining are a hindrance. At various points in these negotiations, both sides have requested off-the-record meetings.

However, one of the ground rules of off-the-record discussions is that they are off-the-record. They don’t officially exist. The parties don’t talk about them. The parties don’t ever refer to what happened in them.

With that background, you can now see what an extraordinary breach of negotiating protocol Boeing corporate engaged in by opening this very message by referencing an off-the-record meeting. Worse yet, Boeing talked to the Seattle Times about the off-the-record meeting portraying a fantastical version of such a supposed meeting. 

Because the SPEEA negotiating team honors its promises, we neither confirm nor deny whether such a meeting took place and we most certainly never talk about what might have transpired in such a meeting.

Misconduct like this strikes to the heart of the collective bargaining process. It is an act of dishonesty and breach of trust of the highest order. The fact that Boeing did this is strong evidence that Boeing corporate has abandoned any notion of reaching an agreement that the SPEEA negotiating team would endorse.

Negotiations Progress:

Boeing hires you because you’re the smartest people on the planet but they delude themselves into believing that you’re too stupid to see through their bargaining tricks.

So here’s the Boeing corporate trick:  They proposed a terrible offer which the members voted over 96% to reject on Oct. 1. In the wake of that vote, Boeing takes some of the awful things out of their proposal and calls that progress. The hope is that when they drop their next bad offer, members will compare it to the last terrible offer and feel relief.  It’s a game of false perspective that assumes SPEEA members are gullible.

However, SPEEA members are too savvy for this.  SPEEA members will compare the new offer to their existing contract. Your current contract was negotiated at a time when the global economy was collapsing and Boeing was in serious financial trouble due to the 787 outsourcing debacle. Since then, SPEEA and IAM members put their shoulders to the wheel and turned the company around to post record profits. Just today, Boeing sold $4.9 billion dollars worth of 737s. 

Boeing corporate rewarded themselves with double-digit salary increases and bonuses equal to a year’s salary.  They gave the shareholders a 4.8% stock dividend increase…..but you?  You deserve pay and benefit cuts.


Your negotiating teams have worked incredibly hard to try and get a deal that respects your contributions to the company’s success. The Boeing negotiating team has stayed fixated on cutting your pay and benefits.

When we’ve asked the company to justify cutting pay and benefits in a context of record profits, their answer is that what they’re willing to pay has nothing to do with company profitability. If they can move the work someplace else to get it done cheaper, they expect SPEEA members to accept cuts in a bid to keep their own jobs.

When we’ve asked the company to justify increasing executive compensation while cutting it for SPEEA members, their answer is that “executives exist in a different market” than SPEEA members. 

The company leadership ignored the message you sent when you rejected their last offer. It’s time that they heard from you again.


Ray Goforth
Executive Director

SPEEA / IFPTE Local 2001


From: GRP Negotiations Update 
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 5:06 PM
Subject: Negotiations Update, Nov. 14, 2012 Boeing ready to deliver new economic proposals to SPEEA

***This message is being sent from the Boeing Negotiations Team to all SPEEA-represented employees and their managers.***

Negotiations Update, Nov. 14, 2012

Boeing ready to deliver new economic proposals to SPEEA

Following an off-the-record negotiation session yesterday, the Boeing negotiations team contacted SPEEA today to confirm the agenda for Thursday’s previously agreed upon negotiation session. Boeing informed SPEEA of our plans to make amended economic and health care proposals. In response, we were informed by SPEEA that their negotiations team is not available to meet until next Tuesday due to other priorities. Both parties have now confirmed we will meet next Tuesday (Nov. 20) at 8 a.m.

Over the past several weeks, the Boeing team has worked to withdraw or amend many of the issues raised by SPEEA in the company’s initial contract offer – without any substantive counterproposals from SPEEA. Boeing remains committed to reaching an agreement as soon as possible, and we look forward to sitting down with SPEEA to discuss the new proposals once they are prepared to meet.

Please visit the negotiations website for regular updates.

The Negotiations Team
- Julie-Ellen Acosta, vice president, Human Resources, Commercial Airplanes
- Conrad Ball, Functional Engineering director, Boeing Military Aircraft
- Mark Burgess, chief engineer, Engineering, Operations & Technology
- Mike Delaney, vice president, Engineering, Commercial Airplanes
- Gene Woloshyn, vice president, Employee Relations, Boeing
- Todd Zarfos, vice president, Engineering - Commercial Aviation Services, senior chief engineer of Support