Boeing To Eliminate Pension Plan For New Employees


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Boeing To Eliminate Pension Plan For New Employees

By Steve Hall

June 16, 2010 - In a move that deserves applause from union members everywhere, the members of District 837 in St. Louis, MO, voted overwhelmingly to reject a contract offer from The Boeing Company that would compensate current employees in exchange for eliminating the defined benefit pension plan for new employees. 

Boeing machinist overwhelmingly rejected Boeing's contract offer and authorized the district president to initiate strike activities, the vote was 1548 to reject the offer and 532 to accept. 1619 voted to strike and 459 voted no strike. 

"The attack on the pension plan is unacceptable," declared District 837 President and Directing Business Representative Gordon King. "Accepting this proposal would create an unfair system of retirement which will put the pensions of current members at risk in the future." 


Under Boeing?s 4? year proposal, workers hired after January 2012 would not receive guaranteed benefits under the current defined pension benefit plan, but would instead receive contributions to a riskier 401(k). "All across the aerospace industry, they've been taking away defined pension plans, putting in 401(K)s, then a contract or two after that, they've been taking the 401(k) away from them," said King in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Tom Gianino, a 27-year Boeing employee explained why he voted to reject the contract proposal. "I'm not going to be here, but I want to leave a legacy that we left this in better shape than when we found it," said Gianino. The vote to reject the contract and authorize a strike sets the stage for a work stoppage that could occur as soon as June 23. Boeing will now have an opportunity to modify their proposal. 

"The company thought you would sell out your future and you said no," said King in a message to members. "Future members of this community will look back with pride on your courage this day." District 837 represents more than 2,500 employees in St. Louis, where Boeing works on F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers and F-15 Strike Eagles. IAM members there also work on C17 parts and missile systems.


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