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FAQ

Steward/Member Informational 2024 IAM/Boeing Contract Negotiations. New Questions will be added to the bottom of the Thread

Introduction

 

    We expect to have successful contract negotiations with the Boeing Company and aim to negotiate a contract that reflects what our members have earned and deserve. We don’t take going on strike lightly; however, we’re willing to do so if our members vote that way. Our communications plan for this negotiation will increase participation from all levels of our membership, but your help is vital to the success of these negotiations. Your leadership throughout this process will determine our strength at the bargaining table. We will be successful because of your due diligence in providing our members with answers. As we approach the final contract vote, two-way communication with our membership is key; therefore, we will call on you to step up and help us lead our membership to a successful contract victory.

 

Question Index

General Questions and Answers on the 2024 Negotiations

Q: How will the IAM approach this year’s negotiations?

Q: When will negotiations be formally opened?

Q: What length of contract are we going to propose?

Q: What are some of the top issues from the Union leadership’s perspective?

Q: Why doesn’t the minimum wage rates increase with GWI & COLA?

Q: How will the Union address the Job Security issue?

Q: What approach will the Union leadership be taking with respect to retirement security?

Q: What about the issue of health care costs?

Q: Does the Union want a strike?

Q: What is our Union’s history of striking?

Q: When could a strike occur if our members reject the contract and two-thirds present vote to strike?  

Q: What informational resources are available to me?

Q: How can I help in the negotiation process?

 

Strike Sanction Meeting

Q: When is the Strike Sanction meeting?

Q: What is the purpose of a strike sanction vote?

Q: Will we get paid for attending?

 

Contract Vote

Q: What about the final contract vote?

Q: How and where do I vote on the contract offer?

Q:  Will we be having a mass meeting to vote on the contract, or will we be voting at the Union halls?

Q: How does the contract vote work?

Q: Why does it take a two-thirds reaffirmation vote to call a strike?

Q: What responsibilities does the Negotiating Committee have once receiving the Last, Best and Final offer?

Q: Does the Union Staff get paid if we go out on strike? If so, why is that?  

Q: If we go out on strike, what benefits will be available to me if I am in school on Joint Programs funding?  

Q: What if I physically can't do picket duty if we go out on strike?  

Q: Why do we have rallies during negotiations?

Q: How much time will I have to review the Company’s final offer before getting to vote on it?

Q: How will the Union keep me updated on the status of negotiations?

 

Miscellaneous

Q: How will a new CEO affect contract talks?

Q: When will the survey results be out?

Q: Why can’t we get more strike pay?

Q: How much is strike pay?

Q: What should I say to support the Union’s efforts in negotiations when I am asked by management to give them my input on negotiations?

Q:  What do I do if a member or co-worker doesn’t want to participate in the negotiation-related activities?

Q: What benefits are available to our members during strike time?

Q: What are the important dates to know?

Q: When do we have to return to work? 

Q: How does strike pay work? 

Q: Is strike pay taxable? 

Q: What if I am on medical leave during the strike? 

Q: What if I am on light duty during the strike? 

Q: How does medical insurance work if we go on strike? What are my options? 

Q: How am I going to pay my bills? How can I make money?

Q: Can I take another job? 

Q: What if there is a protest during the strike? 

Q: Can the company send in professional scabs / strike breakers? 

Q: What are union-busting tactics? 

Q: Where can I get the most updated info? 

                                       

                                        

 

 

PowerPoint: Benefits during Strike (Click Hyperlink to view Training)

 

General Questions and Answers on the 2024 Negotiations

 

Q: How will the IAM approach this year’s negotiations?

A: We are approaching this year’s negotiations as we do all negotiations: very seriously. These are our members’ livelihoods, and we expect the Company to negotiate fairly and equitably.

Q: When will negotiations be formally opened?

A: The contract opener will be held in Seattle at the Machinists Hall on March 8, 2024. The Union’s entire proposal will be delivered to the Company at this meeting, but the Union reserves the right to amend, change, and alter its proposal throughout negotiations. 

Q: What length of contract are we going to propose?

A: The Union is proposing a three-year agreement. There are times we have accepted a four-year agreement, but that will depend on the financial aspects of the agreement.

Q: What are some of the top issues from the Union leadership’s perspective?

A: Given the feedback from the membership, GWI and Wage Issues, Retirement Security, Health Care, Dental, Vision, Job Security, Lump Sum, Team Leader, More Time Off, and Subcontracting activities are just some of the many issues members have identified as priorities. We are proposing language that represents the priorities our members have set. It is vital that we do not let the Company divide our members. We all need to support each other’s issues to be successful.

 

Q: Why doesn’t the minimum wage rates increase with GWI & COLA?

A: When this wage system entered our agreement in 1992, GWI increases and COLA were only added to the maximum rates. The Union has proposed in previous negotiations to have GWI increases and COLA increase the minimum rates. We will continue that effort during these negotiations.

  

Q: How will the Union address the Job Security issue?

A: Job security and employment stability are important for this workforce and the generations to follow. After seeing the 787 program consolidated outside of Washington State, the end of the 747 program, and seeing the Company speak about a 737 or single aisle replacement, we must have a commitment for the next airplane program here in Portland and the Puget Sound. Our fight for Job Security is certainly for our members, but our success will benefit SPEEA engineers, Teamster truck drivers, IAFF firefighters, and everyone else who depends on these jobs. We are fighting for everyone.  We also must address facilities and maintenance subcontracting to protect the associated crafts within our membership. We must stand up and fight for all jobs.

 

Q: What approach will the Union leadership be taking with respect to retirement security?

A: The Union is proposing to reinstate the defined benefit pension. This is certainly an uphill battle, but our members deserve retirement security. Every option remains on the table. Stick together on the issue of retirement security and tell the Company it’s Our Future, Our Fight.

 

Q: What about the issue of health care costs?

A: Our focus will be to reduce the cost of using the health care plans. We will propose reductions in office visit copays and deductibles and propose increases in the percentage of coverage for specific services, all in an effort to reduce the cost to each member.

Q: Does the Union want a strike?

A: It is our goal to reach an agreement that improves the standard of living and the priorities set by our members. We aim to reach an agreement that we can recommend and that our members can accept and ratify without a strike. However, it is very important that we are prepared to strike if necessary. Our members will make that decision when voting on the Company’s Last, Best and Final offer on September 12, 2024.  

Q: What is our Union’s history of striking?

A: A strike only occurs when companies don’t do the right thing for the employees (our members). The Machinists at Boeing have been on strike seven times in the 88 years since first organized.  Those work stoppages, 1944, 1965, 1977, 1989, 1995, 2005, and 2008 have led to the current working conditions enjoyed by our members today. Strikes, or the threat of a strike, are sometimes the only way to get the attention of a company that the workers are serious. Do we want a strike? Never. Will we recommend a strike if we are faced with a substandard contract? Yes, but ultimately the decision falls on our membership. We are only as strong at the bargaining table as our members’ resolve is on the shop floor. 

 

Q: When could a strike occur if our members reject the contract and two-thirds present vote to strike?  

A: A strike could be called as soon as 12:01 am on September 13, 2024 - the current contract expiration date is midnight September 12, 2024.

Q: What informational resources are available to me?

A: Our Union stewards will be available to answer any negotiations related questions you may have. If not, they will try to get you an answer in a timely fashion. There is the website at www.ourfutureourfight2024.org, the Aero Mechanic newspaper, flyers, shop floor meetings, local lodge meetings, Zoom contract update meetings, IAM W24 website, LL63 website and various other ways for you to obtain information about negotiations.

Q: How can I help in the negotiation process?

A: Every member has an obligation to seek information. Find important information from the source: iamw24.org, the Aero Mechanic newspaper, flyers, shop floor meetings, local lodge meetings, Zoom contract update meetings, and the website OURFUTUREOURFIGHT2024.org are just a few options. Participate in shop floor discussions, rallies, surveys, and other events to show solidarity. Wear the appropriate items at the designated times to unite with your Union brothers and sisters. Talk strong about the issues on the shop floor because solidarity works. 

Strike Sanction Meeting

Q: When is the Strike Sanction meeting?

A: The all-membership mass meeting and Strike Sanction Vote will be on July 17, 2024, (Portland Expo Center - 2060 Marine Dr W, Portland, OR 97217). As we reach an agreement on the amount of excused and unpaid hours to participate in the strike sanction, we will provide updates.

Q: What is the purpose of a strike sanction vote?

A: Our IAM Constitution requires that members vote well in advance of the Last, Best and Final offer on whether to sanction a strike. An approved strike sanction vote makes strike funds available for the bargaining unit if they later choose to strike at the expiration of the agreement. A successful strike sanction vote is a simple majority approving the question, 50% plus one vote of those present and voting. However, the ability to take the members out on strike requires a 2/3 majority to reaffirm a strike after rejecting the contract.

Q: Will we get paid for attending?

A: No – this is the one day every contract cycle, in this case 16 years, that all members are invited to participate in our constitutionally required strike sanction vote. This time will be unpaid.

Contract Vote

 

Q: What about the final contract vote?

A: On September 12, 2024, you will be voting on whether or not to accept or reject the final contract offer submitted by the Boeing Company. Summaries of the Last, Best and Final offer proposal will be available at Union offices and on the website for you to review.

Q: How and where do I vote on the contract offer?

A:  The vote will be held on September 12th, 2024 location TBD. This will be communicated ahead of time through Shop Stewards, Local Lodge Officers, Union Boards, and IAM/Boeing 2024 Contract website www.ourfutureourfight2024.com

Q:  Will we be having a mass meeting to vote on the contract, or will we be voting at the Union halls?

A: The location is TBD. Location will be communicated ahead of time through Shop Stewards, Local Lodge Officers, Union Boards, and IAM/Boeing 2024 Contract website www.ourfutureourfight2024.com

 

Q: How does the contract vote work?

A: It is a two-part ballot. The first part is to accept or reject the contract offer. The second part is a yes or no to reaffirm the strike sanction from the July 17th Strike Sanction meeting. If a majority votes to accept the contract, negotiations end, and the contract goes into effect. If more than 50% vote to reject the proposed contract, but less than two-thirds of those voting, vote to reaffirm strike sanction, as was the case in 2002, the contract offer is accepted by default. The only way the negotiating committee can call a strike is to have a majority reject the proposal AND have two-thirds reaffirm the strike sanction.  

 

Q: Why does it take a two-thirds reaffirmation vote to call a strike?

A: Anytime you go into a possible strike situation, you want to be sure that a 2/3 majority of your membership support calling a strike. Going on strike with less than 2/3 results in a possible weak picket line. This is why the IAM Constitution requires a 2/3 majority to call a strike. If the majority of the membership - 50% + 1 - was all that was required to call a strike, our chances of winning a good contract through a strike decreases dramatically.

The bottom line is: Calling a strike is serious business. The leadership needs to be sure that 2/3 of the membership support withholding their labor to walk the line.  

Q: What responsibilities does the Negotiating Committee have once receiving the Last, Best and Final offer?

A: We must review the proposal, make a synopsis of what was changed, and make it available to the membership. We will get it out as quickly as we can.

Q: Does the Union Staff get paid if we go out on strike? If so, why is that?  

A: Yes - the Union Staff salaries continue during a work stoppage since their work does not stop during a strike. Maintaining a strong position and providing essential needs to maintain a strong Union front must be undertaken while negotiating another contract that is acceptable to our members. Keep in mind no Union dues are collected during a strike. Also, District W24 Staff represent other members at companies throughout the state of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and California, so the work of the District must continue.

 

Q: If we go out on strike, what benefits will be available to me if I am in school on Joint Programs funding?  

A:  Under normal circumstances, a strike would not affect your enrollment if you are attending class prior to going on strike. 

Q: What if I physically can't do picket duty if we go out on strike?  

A: There are many responsibilities during a strike – there’s a job for everyone.

Q: Why do we have rallies during negotiations?

A:  It is very important that our membership demonstrate their support to the negotiating committees and the issues that are important to all of us. Large numbers at rallies send a very strong message that we are unified and strong. Family and friends are highly encouraged to also attend. Solidarity matters – Our Future, Our Fight. 

Q: How much time will I have to review the Company’s final offer before getting to vote on it?

A: The Company does not have to provide a copy of the offer to us until the current contract expires. We attempt to get a Last, Best and Final offer at least a few days prior to our current contract expiration date, which is September 12, 2024. The Company has done this in the last three contracts, and we expect them to do the right thing this time, also.

Q: How will the Union keep me updated on the status of negotiations?

A: We will provide regular updates throughout the year using our website at OURFUTUREOURFIGHT2024.org, texts, website IAMW24.org, face-to-face shop floor meetings, Zoom meetings, local lodge meetings, and through our Union Stewards. Members need to sign up to be placed on our home email list. We cannot send updates to your Boeing email, but the Company can and will. It is important that our membership recognizes that the Boeing emails do not reflect the Union’s position. 

 

Miscellaneous

 

Q: How will a new CEO affect contract talks?

A: We will negotiate with whoever is in this position.

Q: When will the survey results be out?

A: We don’t normally publish the survey results as this could give the Company an unfair advantage. We will provide as much information as possible to our membership and have done so through our Union meetings.

Q: Why can’t we get more strike pay?

A: The amount of strike pay is determined every four years at the IAM Grand Lodge Convention. The Union sent delegates to the Convention to speak on behalf of their respective Local Lodge. We were successful in getting the strike pay increased to its current amount of $200 per week. We also Local Lodge 63 have a strike fund  that can supplement that strike fund by as much as $200 per week.

Q: How much is strike pay?

A: $200 per week (IAM Grand Lodge Strike pay) beginning on the 3rd week of a work stoppage (strike) and plus the $200 per week (Local Lodge 63) beginning on the 2nd week of a work stoppage (strike). This was an increase from the previous amount at the last IAM Grand Lodge Convention, held in 2022. Local Lodge 63's strike pay will be decreased as the fund hit certain amounts.  

Q: What should I say to support the Union’s efforts in negotiations when I am asked by management to give them my input on negotiations?

A: You can help support your co-workers (your Union) throughout negotiations by sending a strong, unified message to Company management about better retirement, lower healthcare costs, job security, and issues important to all of us. This may also be an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) which you need to document and get to the Union right away.

Q:  What do I do if a member or co-worker doesn’t want to participate in the negotiation-related activities?

A: Explain to them the importance of solidarity. It will take all of us, working together and standing shoulder to shoulder. No one does this alone. This is their contract and their livelihood, and to do nothing may result in the same or less. Nothing is guaranteed in negotiations and unless the membership stands together, we cannot expect the Company to do the right thing.  Generations of workers in the past fought hard to get us where we are today, it’s time to step up and do our part for the future of workers at Boeing and throughout the State. Our members set the bar for all workers across this country and throughout the industry. It’s Our Future, Our Fight, but we are fighting for everyone!

Q: What benefits are available to our members during strike time?

 A: During a strike, strike benefits through the Local Lodge and International are available to any

member who completes their strike duty. Unemployment benefits are not available when a

member is on strike as we are willingly withholding our labor but if a lockout (occurs when a

company prevents its employees from working as a form of protest or as a means of forcing them

to accept certain demands) happens instead of a strike then unemployment benefits could be

available (decisions for eligibility for unemployment benefits are made by the state). Health insurance will be available through the end of September 2024, if a strike happens, please see the attached Benefits during Strike PowerPoint for more information.

 

Q: What are the important dates to know?

A: There are two important dates to be aware of July 17th, 2024, will be the Strike authorization vote. (Portland Expo Center - 2060 Marine Dr W, Portland, OR 97217). This is not a vote to strike; this is a vote that says that in the event a strike is needed the membership supports such an action. And September 13, 2024, is the first day we do not have a valid Contract to work under and is the first day we potentially could strike Boeing. (Contract expires at Midnight on September 12, 2024).

 

Q: When do we have to return to work? 

 A: Your bargaining committee will negotiate a return-to-work agreement with the Boeing company. The agreement will try to have members return to work as fast as possible.

 

Q: How does strike pay work? 

A: Local Strike pay is controlled by the Bylaws, See below:

Strike or victimization pay shall be earned in the first week of strike or victimization and paid during the second week. The pay shall be as follows: When the strike fund reaches two million dollars ($2,000,000.00) the amount of benefit to be paid by Local Lodge 63 shall be two hundred dollars ($200.00) per week. Such payment shall continue until such time as the funds drop below two million dollars ($2,000,000.00) at which time the benefit will be reduced to one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) per week. Such payment shall continue until such time as the funds drop below one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) at which time the benefit will be reduced to eighty dollars ($80.00) per week. Such payment shall continue until such time as the funds drop below two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00) at which time the benefit will be reduced to sixty dollars ($60.00) per week. Such payment shall continue until such time as the funds drop below one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000.00) at which time the benefit will be reduced to forty dollars ($40.00) per week. When the fund drops below one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00), the weekly benefit shall be reduced to thirty dollars ($30.00) per week until the strike ends, or the fund is exhausted. All weekly strike benefits shall be paid from the Strike Fund.

International Rules, see below:

1. No benefits will be paid unless the strike lasts for more than two weeks. Thereafter, benefits start with the beginning of the third week.

2. Striking members who are not entitled to benefits because they lack three months’ membership will become eligible as soon as they have been in good standing for three months. (The financial officer should submit the names of such members to the GST as they become eligible, with an explanation and request for strike benefits.)

3. Members on strike must sign the strike record semiweekly (i.e. twice each week).

4. No benefits will be paid to members who refuse to provide assistance in connection with the strike.

5. Any arrearages owed by members claiming strike benefits will be deducted from such benefits.

6. Members participating in a sanctioned strike are entitled to receive free strike stamps while without employment provided, they comply with provisions of the IAM Constitution relating to unemployment stamps. Members who are not returned to work at the end of a strike will be issued strike stamps for not more than three weeks after the strike is settled, provided they are “without employment” and have not been offered the opportunity to return to work. After three weeks such members may be issued unemployment stamps.

7. Members who have paid unemployment dues for the month prior to the month in which the strike begins are not eligible for strike benefits unless it is certified that such members returned to work prior to the strike. Likewise, members on vacation or leave of absence for any reason are not eligible for strike benefits but can become eligible at the end of such leave or vacation, plus the two-week waiting period, provided they carry out all duties assigned by the strike committee.

8. Article L, Section 3 of the IAM Constitution prohibits members from working in a struck establishment. Members who violate this provision may be subject to court-collectable fines.

9. In non-Right-to-Work states or on federal enclaves where union security agreements are permitted (requiring all bargaining unit employees to pay dues or fees to the union), non-members (including objectors) are eligible for strike benefits if they honor the strike and perform the same duties as members. Non-members may not take part in the strike vote or other votes.

 

Q: Is strike pay taxable? 

 A: Strike pay is taxable after receiving $600, members will be sent a 1099 tax form. Strike checks do not have tax withholding taken out of them.

 

Q: What if I am on medical leave during the strike? 

A: Please see the attached PowerPoint “Benefits During a Strike”

 

Q: What if I am on light duty during the strike? 

A: If a member is on light duty when a strike begins, they will be on strike with the rest of the membership.

 

Q: How does medical insurance work if we go on strike? What are my options? 

A: Please see the attached PowerPoint “Benefits During a Strike”

 

Q: How am I going to pay my bills? How can I make money?

A: Members should be saving for a Strike ASAP. During a strike, a member can get a job to help with the financial strain. Members can work at other employers during a strike and if they complete their strike time will also get strike pay. A Community Resource Committee will be established to support members during a strike.

 

Q: Can I take another job? 

A: During a strike, a member can get a job to help with the financial strain.

 

Q: What if there is a protest during the strike? 

A: If there is a protest during a strike, members will continue to walk the picket line. The protesters are not a part of our group and will not deter our right to picket.

 

Q: Can the company send in professional scabs / strike breakers? 

A: There is no law that prohibits employers from hiring replacements during a strike. The union of course strenuously objects to these workers, who are usually referred to as “scabs.” Employees who strike to protest an unfair labor practice committed by their employer are called unfair labor practice strikers. Such strikers can be neither discharged nor permanently replaced. When the strike ends, unfair labor practice strikers, absent serious misconduct on their part, are entitled to have their jobs back even if employees hired to do their work have to be discharged.

 

Q: What are union-busting tactics? 

A: Company tactics might include unethical and illegal tactics including the harassment of union members, asking members their opinion on contract proposals, asking if they are ready to strike, promising benefits or rewards for voting for or against a proposal or strike, or other actions that violate the NLRA.  If you experience any of these illegal activities by a manager or company representative, please notify your steward or business rep so we can file the appropriate charges against the Company and protect your right to collectively bargain and Strike (if necessary).

 

Q: Where can I get the most updated info? 

A:

  1. IAM/Boeing Contract Information meetings after the Local Lodge No. 63 meeting.

  2. OurFutureOurFight2024.com

  3. Text Blast will be sent when it is critical to get information to the membership immediately.

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