St. Louis Boeing Workers Approve Contract, Avert Strike

Union members approved a new contract Wednesday morning

click to enlarge Union members at Boeing locations in St. Louis County, St. Charles County and Mascoutah, Illinois, agreed to a new contract on Wednesday. - @kanesue / Flickr
Union members at Boeing locations in St. Louis County, St. Charles County and Mascoutah, Illinois, agreed to a new contract on Wednesday.

Boeing will avoid a strike after local union members approved a new three-year contract on Wednesday morning.

The news comes after members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 837 union voted to strike last week. The union planned to strike Monday, but that action was postponed after Boeing offered another contract offer on Saturday.

The new contract, which goes into effect on August 4, gave union members an updated 401k and retirement plan –– a main priority for the union following the loss of its pension. Most notably, Boeing will provide a 4 percent company contribution up front. Workers can then add up to 8 percent with an extra 75 percent match from Boeing.

Previously, Boeing offered to match 10 percent of the 401k plan, but union members rejected the offer, arguing some people don’t make enough money to insert 10 percent.

“The hard work and unwavering solidarity of the IAM District 837 bargaining committee and the membership is what made this improved contract happen,” IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more proud of their efforts to secure this strong contract. These improvements will go a long way toward ensuring retirement security and more equitable wages for our members and their families. At the end of the day, that is what the impending strike was about.”

The contract also provides a 14 percent general wage increase over the three-year period and cuts the two-tier pay system.

“Throughout negotiations, the committee worked diligently to educate the membership and bring back an improved offer from the company,” said IAM District 837 President Tom Boelling in the statement. “We have delivered an equitable contract that will secure the future for the members, their families and future generations.”

IAM District 837 represents workers at Boeing locations in St. Louis County, St. Charles County and Mascoutah, Illinois, where they manufacture military weapons and aircrafts.