(ST. LOUIS) — Nearly 2,500 Boeing workers at three St. Louis-area facilities will vote Wednesday on a contract offer from the plane manufacturer after calling off a strike planned for earlier this week.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, or IAMAW, is recommending that workers approve the new offer and expects the contract to be ratified, Jody Bennett, chief of staff of the IAMAW Aerospace Department, told ABC News
“We didn’t get everything we wanted where we wanted it but I believe we got everything out of Boeing that we could,” Bennett said. “It’s time to live to fight another day.”
Workers last Sunday rejected an offer that insufficiently compensated them through its retirement plan, Bennett said.
Upon ratification, the new contract provides workers with a $8,000 cash bonus, which would be subject to tax withholdings. Alternatively, under the terms of the proposed contract, workers can opt to place the total amount in a 401(k) account, Boeing said.
Under the proposal, the company will automatically put an amount equivalent to 4% of a worker’s pay into the 401(k) each year, the company and Bennett said.
But the new proposal removes the company’s 401(k) match, which featured a dollar-for-dollar company match on 10% of a worker’s pay, the union said. Instead, the company will match 75% on the first 8% of employee contributions.
“This new offer builds on our previous strong, highly competitive one and directly addresses the issues raised by our employees,” Boeing said in a statement. “We are hopeful they will vote yes on Wednesday.”
The contract includes a $2 per hour increase in the base wage for all employees, which equates to an average 7.2% wage hike, Boeing said. Workers at the three St. Louis-area locations make an average of $29.42 per hour, the union said.
In 2014, Boeing stopped offering a traditional pension plan for new hires, replacing it with a 401(k) that fails to adequately compensate workers, Bennett said.
The Arlington, Virginia-based company reported $160 million in profit in the second quarter of this year, which marked a 72% decline from the same quarter a year prior.
The company brought in $62.2 billion in revenue in 2021 after a resurgence in sales of its 737 Max, which was grounded in 2019 after two crashes left 346 people dead. The Federal Aviation Agency lifted the grounding order in November 2020.
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