Boeing technical workers planning next move

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm •  Published: February 20, 2013
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SEATTLE (AP) — The union for Boeing's technical workers is planning its next move after they rejected a contract offer, splitting with engineers represented by the same union who approved the deal.

The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace notified a federal mediator Wednesday to resume negotiations.

The union will survey members of the technical bargaining unit to determine their priorities, SPEEA said. They also voted Tuesday to authorize a strike, but a strike by the 7,400 technical workers is not imminent.

The 15,500 engineers who have a new four-year contract in place will play a supporting role in the talks.

The union had recommended rejection of the contract because it would not provide pensions to new employees. They would have a 401(k) retirement plan instead.

The Chicago-based aerospace company said the change was important to its future. The labor dispute continues as Boeing works to solve battery problems that have grounded its new 787s.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner said that the company was pleased with the engineers' vote but "deeply disappointed" in the technical workers' rejection of what he called the company's "best and final" offer.

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