Monday, January 06, 2014

AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY - New Boeing Union Contract

"With money and jobs on the line, Boeing workers vote on critical labor contract" PBS Newshour 1/3/2014


JEFFREY BROWN:  In November, machinist union workers at Boeing voted down a new contract extension.  Pensions were the most contested issue.  After Boeing offered several revisions, a new vote is taking place today, with results expected tonight.

The stakes are high: thousands of jobs and the building of Boeing's new 777X plane.  If the union approves the contract, Boeing says it will go ahead and build the plane in unionized factories in Washington State, the company's historic manufacturing home.  If there's another no-vote, Boeing says it may well go elsewhere.  And 22 other states responded to a solicitation from the company with proposals to build the new jet in their areas.

Joining us now:  Harley Shaiken, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who specializes in labor issues, and Richard Gritta, a professor of finance at the University of Portland, an expert on the airline industry.

Well, Harley Shaiken, and start us off.  Explain the pension and other issues here and the dilemma for the union members voting on this.

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