Boeing and firefighters union reach tentative contract deal to end lockout

May 29, 2024

Boeing firefighters: Tentative agreement announced

Boeing (BA.N) and a union representing approximately 125 of its firefighters announced on Wednesday that they have reached a tentative contract deal, according to a joint statement from the planemaker and the union.

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local I-66 had been locked out by Boeing in early May after rejecting two contract offers, a situation that drew the concern of President Joe Biden.

The tentative agreement is set to be voted on Thursday and, if approved, would end the lockout and months of negotiations.

Both parties expressed optimism, stating: “This tentative agreement addresses the needs of our firefighters and the company.” Firefighters are expected to return to work on Saturday if the deal is ratified.

Rally and negotiations

On May 14, IAFF President Edward Kelly, AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, and Representative Val Hoyle participated in a rally outside Boeing headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, urging Boeing to come to an agreement.

Recently, House lawmakers from Washington State also called on both sides to negotiate in good faith to reach a settlement.

Details of the tentative agreement have not been disclosed.

In early May, Boeing proposed increasing firefighters’ average take-home pay from $91,000 to $112,000 in the first year.

This move was part of the efforts to resolve the ongoing dispute and bring firefighters back to their roles.

Ongoing negotiations with machinists

In a related development, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is in the process of negotiating a new contract for over 30,000 workers involved in building Boeing’s 737 MAX jets.

Production of the 737 MAX has been significantly impacted by increased factory checks from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) following an assembly error that led to a panel blowout on a new Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 in January.

Boeing is scheduled to meet with the FAA on Thursday (May 30th) to discuss its 90-day plan aimed at boosting quality and addressing production issues.

The company said it is focused on resolving these concerns to ensure the smooth operation and safety of its manufacturing processes.

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