Boeing’s St Louis based union machinists who work on F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-15K/SG Eagle fighters and other Boeing military programs have voted to strike following their rejection of a contract offer from the company.
The strike vote was an overwhelming 4-1 in favour by the nearly 2100 workers after they rejected a new contract which would have seen them gain a 3.6 per cent salary increase per year over four and a half years as well as increased pension benefits. Union leaders are objecting to a clause that would see employees hired after 2012 not receive the same pension benefits as those currently employed.
“The work we perform here in St Louis is critically important to our country and the men and women of our armed services,” a company statement read. “The fair and equitable contract we put forward recognises the contributions made by our union employees in terms of enhanced salary, benefits and pension.”
The union says it will wait until June 16 before officially informing Boeing in writing of its intention to strike, and will then take a seven day cooling off period to allow for further negotiations.
The strike vote follows a similar month long strike which recently ended at Boeing’s Long Beach C-17 production line. Workers there returned to work in early June after objecting to a similar pension clause in their new contracts.