Over 2,000 Boeing Defense Workers to Go on Strike in August After Rejecting Contract Deal

By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.
July 25, 2022 Updated: July 25, 2022

Approximately 2,500 members of a union that represents three Boeing Co. defense locations in Missouri are set to go on strike next month after they voted to reject the plane maker’s contract offer.

The International Association of Machinists (IAM) and Aerospace Workers District 837 confirmed the planned strike, which comes after weeks of bargaining, in a statement on July 24.

The strike is planned to begin on Aug. 1 at Boeing manufacturing facilities in St. Charles County, St. Louis County, and Mascoutah, Illinois.

Workers at those plants build military aircraft, including the F-15, F-18, T-7A trainer, and the MQ-25 unmanned refueler.

Boring employs 14,865 workers in Missouri, according to the company’s website.

“Our members have spoken loudly and with one voice,” the union’s statement read. “We cannot accept a contract that is not fair and equitable, as this company continues to make billions of dollars each year off the backs of our hardworking members.”

The statement added that Boeing “previously took away a pension from our members, and now the company is unwilling to adequately compensate our members’ 401(k) plan.”

“We will not allow this company to put our members’ hard-earned retirements in jeopardy,” IAM added.

The more than 2,000 members of IAM District 837 opened contract negotiations with Boeing Defense on July 6, 2022, regarding wages, health care, retirement, and more.

The current contract is set to expire on Monday, July 25.

‘Disappointed’

A Boeing spokesperson told Bloomberg that the Virginia-based company was “disappointed with Sunday’s vote to reject a strong, highly competitive offer,” and that the company is “activating our contingency plan to support continuity of operations in the event of a strike.”

In a statement to the Post-Dispatch prior to the vote, a Boeing spokesperson said its contract proposal had offered “highly competitive wage increases and one of the most lucrative 401(k) plans in the nation.”

As part of its retirement plan, Boeing would “match dollar-for-dollar up to 10 percent of base and incentive pay, while the company also promised to make a special contribution of 2 percent in 2023 and 2024,” according to the Post-Dispatch.

The union previously said Boeing “has offered subpar GWI’s (general wage increases), no change in wage progression, and takeaways in the 401k.”

The Epoch Times has contacted Boeing for comment.

Boeing came under fire last year after telling workers they must be vaccinated against COVID-19, prompting protests in Washington State.

The company also has had a turbulent few years which saw a number of crashes, including a Boeing 737 operated by Indonesian airline Lion Air, which crashed 13 minutes after departure in 2018. All 189 people aboard the plane were killed.

Another 157 people died in 2019 when a 737 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed shortly after takeoff.

Shortly after that crash, all 737 MAX airplanes were temporarily grounded in the United States.

In March 2022, a Boeing 737-800 airplane, operated by China Eastern Airlines, crashed in southern China with 132 people on board.

Earlier this year, Boeing reported a $1.2 billion loss in the first quarter. However, the company announced last week that Delta Air Lines had ordered 100 of its 737 MAX 10 airplanes, worth around $13.5 billion at list prices.

“This is a huge testament to the value of the MAX,” said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing, after the announcement. “What an endorsement from a world-class airline.”

Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.