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February 18, 2000
Boeing and Union Dig in Heels
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quick end is in sight to the Boeing strike now in its second week, as both sides are digging in their heels with claims and counterclaims.

Boeing's top executive recently sent a strong message to the 17,000 striking engineers and technicians. The message essentially said: we made you a very good offer, now take it or we'll get on without you. SPEEA, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, made comments indicating that the company's stance is merely "propaganda", and warned the company not to underestimate the endurance of the strikers.

Meanwhile deliveries of airplanes have stopped in the face of the largest white-collar strike in company history. The company's stock price has dropped from $47 to $37 in the last month.

Mediation efforts appear to have failed, in spite of intensive efforts by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. The union appears to be upset by "benefits takeaways. The Seattle Times quoted Charles Bofferding, the union's executive director as saying: "Every offer they've put on the table has benefits takeaways. This is not a good contract," said, "They had no idea we would have this resolve. SPEAA has also lodged seven unfair-labor-practice complaints against Boeing with the National Labor Relations Board.

One of Boeing's goals in the negotiations is to increase flexibility to reward top people and increase compensation for underpaid employees.

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