Boeing’s Next Crisis: Aerospace Workers Demanding 40% Pay Raise

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www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-02-06/boeing-labor-strife-poses-next-big-risk-to-plane-production

  • Machinists inspired by auto workers, Hollywood seek 40% raise

  • Labor chief doesn’t want strike, ‘but we’re willing to do it’

  • Union leaders will demand a 40% pay raise over three or four years, emboldened by a resurgent US labor movement, a scarcity of qualified aerospace workers and pressure on Boeing to stabilize work in its factories.

(Bloomberg) — Boeing Co. executives have spent the past month grappling with the aftermath of a near-catastrophe on an airborne 737 Max jet. As the US planemaker works through its latest crisis tied to manufacturing lapses, a new risk looms: a labor rift 10 years in the making.

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Boeing’s largest union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, is still smarting over a 2014 deal that sacrificed pensions, locked in minimal raises and tied the hands of activists for a decade. Union leaders will demand a 40% pay raise over three or four years, emboldened by a resurgent US labor movement, a scarcity of qualified aerospace workers and pressure on Boeing to stabilize work in its factories.

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“Our goal is to negotiate a contract that we as a union leadership and our members can accept,” said Jon Holden, president of IAM District 751, which represents 32,000 Seattle-area Boeing mechanics. “We don’t take going on strike lightly. But we’re willing to do it.”

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