visits "Center of Universe"
contract, outsourcing and Spokane closure prompt Chicago picketing
- SPEEA members from four states became the first employees
to picket Boeing corporate leaders at Boeing's new "World
informational picketing by SPEEA members and staff took place
Tuesday, Feb. 5. The group carried signs and flyers highlighting
a number of issues, including Boeing's mean-spirited negotiations
in Irving, outsourcing work, the possible closure of the Spokane
plant and the general disrespect of Boeing technical workers.
signs and a banner that said "Respect & Jobs for U.S.
Workers" the group was well received by non-Boeing workers
who were happy to carry buttons and flyers into the building.
was a tremendous success," said Charles Bofferding,
executive director. "We were received very well by passersby
and the city."
large contingent of media representatives from local and national
wire services based in Chicago was waiting at the Boeing entrance
when the picketers arrived. While sunny skies prevailed, the
air temperature was a frigid 25 degrees as picketing started.
wasted no time issuing a statement in an attempt to counter
the picketing. SPEEA went to Chicago partly based on feedback
from Boeing's negotiating team in Irving who said the decisions
were being made in Chicago. However, the Boeing statement
said decisions regarding Irving negotiations and other issues
were being made at the Commercial Airplane headquarters in
Buckham, SPEEA President, and Greg Junemann, international
President of the IFPTE, were among the sign carriers. Also
on hand were the Irving Negotiation Team members Redge
Thompson, Joyce Thomas and Clint Kinser.
Joe Newberry, Executive Board member from Wichita;
Jennifer Mackay, Spokane Council Rep; and Steve
Dunham, president of SCPEA, were among the people picketing.
Several representatives from the Chicago Labor Federation
joined the picket in a show of solidarity.
wouldn't have missed this for anything," Junemann said.
"Boeing needs to know we can and will be here to make our
point. They can't hide in Chicago."
was the guest of the local federation at a meeting later in
the day. Thanking the federation for their support, Bofferding
told the group "We do like your town. We like it so much,
we're going to come back."
have just selected Negotiation Teams for the two Puget Sound
contracts and for the Wichita Engineering contract. Our increased
membership and recent track-record provide a markedly different
environment than we faced at the beginning of the last round
of negotiations. The world economic circumstances are also
very different. I believe we have chosen talented, dedicated
negotiators who are up to this challenge, but they need your
one way, the situation surrounding the negotiations is the
same as in past years. The teams will be working in your interest,
guided by what you - the members - have told them.
Negotiation Teams need information from people. Not just from
people who "scream," but from all people. Those with passion
and energy are easy to find and understand. They provide valuable
input. Often their zeal and commitment are an inspiration
for all of us. Those who are not as "noisy" are harder to
find and listen to, but their opinions are just as important.
It is imperative that we develop a positive agenda that takes
into account the diverse interests of our entire community.
are some things you can do to ensure your voice is part of
the SPEEA mission:
your SPEEA leadership. If you have a specific issue, concern
or solution, discuss it with your Council Rep. Send an email
to me, another Board member, or one of the Negotiators. Much
of SPEEA's success is a direct result from this kind of dialog.
area meetings. Even if you do not have a burning issue,
it is helpful to have an audience participate in evaluating
ideas. Perhaps you will be able to provide some insight into
someone else's burning issue. These meetings are truly two-way
the time to complete the negotiations survey. The first
one was deliberately open-ended, inviting people to give ideas.
The survey provided a great deal of information, but it was
information from a relatively small percentage of our membership.
The next survey will be more specific and computer-friendly
(see related article on page 8). It will be easier
to fill out. We need responses from as many people as possible.
Please take the time to give us your input.
you get a call, at your home, from our polling organization
Wilson Research (your caller-id will show "Wilson Research"),
please take the time to participate. All of our other
information-gathering methods are self-selected. The poll
is a true cross section. Polling helps us adapt our communications,
develop a negotiations strategy, and adjust other SPEEA services
to best serve the entire membership. This is our opportunity
to do a sanity check on information we develop elsewhere.
Vote in Board elections and referenda as well as contracts.
is a member-driven democracy. It is up to you whether you
are one of the drivers or just along for the ride.
- Nothing for SPEEA
are quite a few unhappy SPEEA people in my group, including
myself, about the fact The Boeing Company's leaders continue
to go out of their way to "punish" union represented employees
by not including them in the EIP (Employee Incentive Program).
On top of that, they go out of their way to increase the amount
of the payout by writing off the 9/11 impact and callously
announce that "the Boeing team" worked hard for this while
alienating half of that team from reaping the reward.
they can go out of their way to eliminate the monthly medical
co-payments of the non-represented people after our 40-day
strike (in order to standardize benefits across the entire
company-or so they say), then they could easily offer represented
employees the EIP (in order to standardize rewards across
the company). In any case, I and many other fellow employees
feel strongly that we should be included in this program and
that SPEEA should make it a priority to get this included
in our upcoming contract. After all, we will probably never
see a dime from the failed Share- Value Program (which by
the way, is also offered to non-represented people).
the workforce is counterproductive to the health of The Boeing
Company. This practice is undermining any remaining morale,
loyalty and dedication. I am counting on the SPEEA leadership
to join me in reminding The Boeing Company of this as contract
-- Allen D. Filipowicz (Auburn)
plant is another mixed message
have read with dismay all the stories about the possible closure
of the Spokane plant. Boeing is sending the wrong messages
to its employees. I remember years ago when there was pressure
to get costs down and improve processes so we would be more
competitive. The Boeing News printed success stories to commend
the best efforts. One of the success stories was about the
Spokane plant and how they improved their processes and significantly
reduced costs and flow time. Later, there was another article
about the Spokane plant securing a contract with a major airline
to provide replacement floor panels. The story told how the
contract proved they could compete in the marketplace and
the new contract would stabilize the workforce through the
ups and downs of the new airplane market.
I see stories in various media that Boeing is considering
closing the profitable Spokane plant. What a conflicting message
this sends to employees. Boeing tells us that the way to secure
jobs for the future is to improve processes and get costs
down to be more competitive. But, in the end, it doesn't really
matter. Even if we are successful they may close us down.
Is this really the type of message Boeing wants to send to
-- Albin Gersich (Kent)
this is not a sign of the future
addressed to CEO Philip Condit and BCA President Alan Mulally)
a Boeing employee and SPEEA Council Rep (District P-4) I am
disappointed in the latest news from the SPEEA/Boeing negotiations
in Irving Texas.
had hoped the Company learned from past negotiation mistakes.
Boeing should be fair and offer the SPEEA-represented people
in Irving the same package provided other employees in Irving.
All of Boeing is a FAMILY, no matter where the plant is located.
hard as the last negotiations and strike were, we went back
to our jobs and helped the Company reach goals. We hoped the
Company would use the "Partnership" to make things better.
members remember the strike and the way they were treated
by Boeing. I am sure you remember the view of burn barrels,
the loyal employees forced to fight to save the company they
loved. SPEEA members everywhere support Boeing family members
in Irving, Texas. Please understand the importance of a good-will
gesture by offering a fair 2nd contract to Irving employees.
To not even get a single "Yes" vote on a contract is a telling
-- Joel Funfar (Plant II)
Spotlite welcomes letters to the editor that address
issues. Letters should be 250 words or less and may
be edited for publication. Letters should avoid personal
attacks. All letters must include both home address
and daytime telephone number for verification. Due to
space, not all letters can be published.
letters to: Bill Dugovich, SPEEA * 15205 52nd Ave.
S. * Seattle, WA 98188
others are saying
- Strike one remembered...
of Dr. Dobb's Journal, http://www.ddj.com/
Copyright (c) 2001 Dr. Dobb's Journal
it didn't have the punch of the 1997 United Parcel Service
labor strike that put 186,000 workers on the picket line,
or the pizzazz of the 1994-95 Major League Baseball strike
with its downtrodden multimillionaires, the Boeing engineers
strike of 2000 was nonetheless a milestone in labor history.
recap: In February 2000, 17,000-plus frustrated Boeing scientists,
engineers, and software developers walked off the job for
40 days until management caved in to worker demands. What
the engineers got in return for ending the strike were wage
increases of 17 percent over three years, signing bonuses
to return to work, management's promise not to cut health
benefits, a greater voice in company decisions, and company-neutral
union elections. What is significant about this job action,
however, is that it was the largest strike by white-collar
technical professionals in American history.
brings this story to the surface just now is the publication
of "The Boeing Story: Why Engineers Strike," written by Woodruff
Imberman and published in the University of Indiana's Business
Horizon Journal (http://www.indiana.edu/~librcsd/ csc/Detailed/64.html).
Imberman, who is president of the management-consulting firm
of Imberman and DeForest (http://www.imbdef.com/), is no stranger
to studies such as this; he has written many times about employee-relation
issues in a number of industries. In the process of conducting
his independent analysis, Imberman learned that the Boeing
engineers' strike had little to do with money and a lot to
do with technical professionals wanting to do the job they
were hired to do.
Boeing was a company dedicated to technical excellence. Its
airplanes were able to go further and faster more efficiently
than those of its competitors, and management, which consisted
mainly of engineers who had worked their way up the foodchain,
stressed engineering excellence above all else. This model
worked well until competition from Airbus, the consortium
funded by Germany and France, put financial pressures on Boeing
like it had never felt before. Consequently, like a lot of
other companies in the 1990s, Boeing began "moving from a
period where [its] products were defined by their performance
to a period where costs are more important," at least according
to Boeing CEO Philip Condit.
an effort to stop the bleeding, Boeing acquired McDonnell
Douglas, a longtime competitor that was in the throes of its
own financial woes, not to mention reeling from a variety
of federal criminal indictments. For whatever reasons, the
McDonnell Douglas management team that had done such a bang-up
job with that company was brought in to lead the "new" Boeing.
From slashed R&D budgets to reduced medical benefits,
cost cutting became the new corporate mission statement. And
in all of the excitement of tying executive bonuses to improved
financial performance, management forgot about one thing -
the technical staff. In fact, according to Imberman and others,
management was so out of touch with the engineering staff
that it was totally and completely blindsided by the strike.
this water-under-the-bridge stuff aside, Imberman's analysis
of what motivates technical staffs is of particular interest
and relevance here. In a nutshell, Imberman focuses on four
areas that are "key to high morale and productivity among
such highly skilled professionals as aerospace engineers,
scientists, and computer experts." None of these areas should
be of any surprise to anyone who has worked in high-tech environments,
although they were missed by Boeing executive management who
were more focused on cost cutting than technical excellence.
one thing, technical professionals want to be managed by other
technical professionals. This is, says Imberman, the basis
for "generating an atmosphere of professionalism and respect."
In this regard, technical professionals see themselves as
members of a learned society, instead of being merely corporate
employees, and they would rather be praised by an engineering
supervisor than a nonengineer.
technical professionals are less interested in money per se,
than in having salary differentials that acknowledge technical
excellence. At Boeing, engineering salaries had fallen behind
those in the marketplace, while technician salaries had risen,
technical professionals want advancement opportunities that
are clearly spelled out. Face it, engineering is based on
exact science, not vague generalities. As such, engineering
attracts individuals who are keen on exactness. Trying to
placate the ambitions of technical staff members with generalities
didn't work at Boeing and won't work elsewhere.
technical professionals are motivated by recognition of professional
competence. This recognition might involve being given responsibility
for project management, peer recognition of excellence, or
the opportunity to contribute to the overall good of the company.
many of the problems confronting Boeing were unique to Boeing.
But at the same time, the lessons learned are applicable to
any organization that includes technical staffs. Sure, money
is fine, but more often than not, people choose technical
vocations because of the opportunity to create and contribute.
The new Boeing management, intent on stock prices and executive
bonuses, learned this the hard way. Well, let's hope they
learned something. The engineers' contract is due to expire
in December 2002.
FROM MIDWEST REGION
Negotiation Team selected
February's Wichita Engineering Unit Council meeting, the WEU
Council elected the five 2002 WEU Negotiation Team members.
The team members are:
Michael has been a member of SPEEA for the last 6 years,
since Wichita affiliated with SPEEA. He has served on the
last three negotiation teams and presently serves as a Council
Representative. He participates in several Midwest Committees
and works to enforce the contract and monitor problems. Shane
has previous union experience as an IAM-WEA Council Representative.
Newberry has also been a member of SPEEA for the last
6 years. He has served on negotiation teams before and presently
serves as the Midwest Vice-President to the SPEEA Executive
Board. Joe wants to maintain/improve contract features as
well as keep Boeing Wichita a good place to work with the
appropriate benefits and the employment safeguards that a
contract provides. Joe has previous union experience as an
Huster has been a member of SPEEA for the last 2 years,
and he presently serves as a Council Representative. Dave
wants to serve members to the best of his capabilities.
Shah has been a member of SPEEA for the last 6 years.
Burt was a member of the reorganization team for SPEEA and
has represented the Midwest Region at CESO. He is currently
serving as a Council Representative and as Treasurer for the
Midwest Council. Burt is prepared to work hard and devote
all the time necessary for the 2002 negotiations. He has an
understanding of Boeing Wichita Management as well as their
relationship with the Boeing corporate management. Burt has
also completed negotiation training on company-union negotiations.
Sly has been a member of SPEEA for the last 2 years. Dave
possesses strong persuasion and speaking skills that will
prove beneficial to the negotiation team.
note: Watch next month's issue for information on newly-elected
Puget Sound Negotiation Team members.]
revised governing documents call for a biennial election of
all Regional Tellers, with a vote by the entire regional membership.
The major responsibilities of the Tellers are to perform the
annual audit of SPEEA's financial records, conduct all balloting
& elections of SPEEA, and perform "redistricting" of the
Council districts to insure that each district represents
approximately 200 bargaining unit members. Any member can
serve as a Teller - however, they cannot concurrently serve
as an Executive Board member, Council Rep, JRC member or Ombudsman.
Since there were only three names submitted for nomination
for the three positions in the Midwest Region, the nominees
will be automatically seated without an election. The new
Midwest Region tellers are Rick Nelson (WEU), George
Anthony (WTPU) and Larry Thompson (WTPU).
Team organized for charity
has organized a team to bowl in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters
Bowl For Kids' Sake fundraiser. Bowl For Kids Sake is
Big Brothers/Big Sisters primary fund-raiser and is the largest
community-wide fundraising effort in the State of Kansas.
More than 6,000 bowlers, 50,000 individual sponsors and a
host of companies sponsored last year's campaign, helping
to raise more than $770,000. In addition to raising money,
the campaign generated nearly 580 requests for information
about becoming a Big Brother, Sister, Couple or Family match.
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Sedgwick County helps boys
and girls, most of whom are considered at risk and live in
single-parent homes, achieve their full potential through
long-term personal relationships with carefully screened and
caring volunteers. Team members have pledge sheets and are
asking for your support by sponsoring them to bowl. The SPEEA/Wichita
team is comprised of Harold Evans, Jeff Amburgey, Debbie
Yeager, Ken Yeager, Jack Lampson, and Debbie Logsdon
Council Passes Budget
their February meeting, the Midwest Council passed a $40,000
budget for the next year. The budget, presented by Midwest
Council Treasurer Burt Shah, was an estimate of what
might be needed for the next fiscal year, which runs from
April 2002 to March 2003. Estimated cost topics were food
for committee and council meetings that run late into the
night, area representative meetings, Win Win cards, speakers
and seminars, all-member meetings, the annual recognition
banquet, and miscellaneous member activities costs. Staff
salaries and building costs come out of the SPEEA budget,
which will be voted on at the March SPEEA Council meeting.
Performance Evaluation form for Wichita Engineers
of Understanding (LOU) # 18 in the SPEEA Wichita Engineering
Unit (WEU) contract says that the SPEEA engineers were tasked
with the Company to come up with an improved Performance Management
(PM) process before 2002. A joint SPEEA/Boeing subcommittee
met for the last two years in an attempt to provide an improvement
to the process and form on which both parties could agree.
For various reasons, the results of the subcommittee's efforts
resulted in a proposal in late November 2001, to use the current
WTPU Performance Evaluation (PE) form for the WEU represented
engineers in 2002. The Company then asked the SPEEA WEU Council
to approve the use of this new form for the Wichita engineers
for 2002. A timely decision was needed in order to allow time
to implement the new form if the WEU Council approved the
SPEEA WEU Council discussed the company's proposal and decided
on December 4, 2001 to try the new PE form for Wichita engineers
for 2002. This decision fulfills two roles.
Having the engineers use the same PE form as the SPEEA
WTPU Bargaining Unit employees provides a common process for
all SPEEA Wichita represented employees and managers.
Using the new form in 2002 for engineers demonstrates
an attempt by both parties to improve the process as defined
in LOU #18 of the WEU contract.
PE survey of the engineers will take place later in 2002.
If the survey results show the new form is not desired over
the old PM form by a majority of Wichita engineers, then the
2002 WEU Negotiation Team will ask the Company this Fall during
main table negotiations to reinstate the use of the old form
into the WEU contract again. If a majority of Wichita engineers
like the new PE form, then it will likely become part of the
joint SPEEA/Boeing decision along with WEU contract LOU #18
allows the option for engineers to use the old PM and/or PDP
form in addition to the new PE form during the 2002 trial
Labor Federation minutes - Jan 24, 2002
speakers for this meeting were the AFL-CIO's Wayne Michaels,
community service director, and Nancy McCormick, the Midwest
Regional Community Service Liaison. Mr. Michaels discussed
the community services program, which makes Kansas a better
place to live and work. Ms. McCormick discussed the local
liaison position and its significance. Nancy led the new labor
delegates, including the first WTPU delegates for the Federation,
through their oaths of service.
Help Center for Laid off Workers was discussed. Call (316)
267-4327 for details on registering. A one-page fact-sheet
describing the center was provided at the meeting.
Ledbetter talked about her trip with Mark Love to the national
AFL-CIO convention, and the Union Cities program. Our Federation
was recognized along with Atlanta, Washington D.C. and Los
Angeles. This recognition was quite an achievement for our
Labor Federation and for the cities of Wichita and Hutchinson.
Elliott, the labor federation's web master, mentioned the
new weekly e-mail update of the web page.
representatives were elected for 2002. Earl Carter, Bob
Brewer and Carolyn Myers were nominated to represent
SPEEA during Executive Board meetings.
21st Annual Union Label Chili and Hobo Supper slated for Feb.
9th was mentioned. It will begin at 5:30, located at 3830
S. Meridian. The supper will feature Bingo, all-you-can-eat
chili, hobo stew and dessert. Cost $5.00 per person.
WAC elects officers
Women's Advocacy Committee of the Midwest Region elected new
officers this January.
Cummins, WTPU Area Representative in district N-26, was
elected vice-chair. Stacey Shoffner, WTPU Area Representative
in district N-26, was elected to the position of WAC Secretary.
Linda Newell was elected as chair last fall.
SPEEA Women's Advocacy Committee serves as a central voice
for professional and technical women to promote women's issues,
educate the community, and influence workplace policy. The
Midwest Women's Advocacy Committee passionately supports and
promotes the education of women in the workforce and recognizes
the need to protect women now by sharing information and eliminating
Midwest Women's Advocacy Committee meets every 2nd Tuesday
at 5:00 in the Wichita SPEEA office.
Participation (and Vote) Matters
is an important year for SPEEA. We will have the first negotiations
in the Puget Sound since our historic strike. Now is the time
to demonstrate that ALL SPEEA represented employees
are fully engaged and involved in the actions of SPEEA.
good way to show your support is to take the time to vote
in the Executive Board elections. Members will be selecting
a President, Treasurer and Secretary. There are five candidates
for President, two for Treasurer and five for Secretary. Your
vote will make a difference in these hotly contested races.
will be mailed to all members' homes by Feb 27th and must
be returned by noon on March 13th. Ballots will be
counted on March 13th and the new officers will be seated
on March 27th. To help members find and return their ballots,
ballots will be mailed in envelopes marked "BALLOT".
success depends on member involvement and support.
is both easy and important.
Negotiations Survey #2 available on SPEEA Web Site
SPEEA negotiated contracts expire later this year: the Puget
Sound-based Technical Unit, the Puget Sound-based Professional
Unit, and the Wichita Engineering Unit.
Negotiations Preparation Committee has prepared a second survey
utilizing responses from the previous (September SPOTLITE)
survey plus other member input. The
survey is available on the SPEEA web site here.
take a few minutes to go to the SPEEA web site and complete
the survey. When you access that web page, you will be asked
to enter your clock number and last name. Only active employees
in the three bargaining units noted above, plus retirees who
belong to ERS will be granted access to the survey.
people unable to complete the survey online, you may contact
the SPEEA office for a printed copy of the web survey. Complete
the print version, return it to the office by the end of March,
and the results will be added to those returned electronically.
you do not have access to the internet, you can go to your
local public library where they will allow you access. Please
complete by March 31st.
survey will be available on the SPEEA web site for the entire
month of March. After that time, the survey will be tabulated
by the Negotiation Preparation Committee and the results will
be provided to the Negotiation Teams. A summary of the survey
results will also be printed in a future SPEEA SPOTLITE.
-- 40-days on the line
House - March 20th
Tukwila - Everett - Wichita
a.m. to 7 p.m.