January 26, 2001 Newsletter #1820
Through our relationship with CESO (Council of Engineers & Scientists Organizations), SPEEA is a member of the National Industrial Base Workforce Coalition. This group is comprised of representatives of a number of labor unions across the nation representing employees who work on defense and national security programs. The Coalition deals with specific issues affecting the programs that employ its members.
During the week of January 15th, Coalition members held two important meetings in Washington, DC. Unions in the coalition for these meetings included: Association of Scientists & Professional Engineering Personnel (ASPEP) representing Lockheed-Martin & L3 Communications engineers in New Jersey ... Int'l Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1805 representing Northrop Grumman employees in Maryland ... Salaried Employees Association (SEA), representing Northrop Grumman radar workers in Maryland ... Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), representing Boeing employees across the nation ... Southern California Professional Engineering Association (SCPEA), representing Boeing engineers in S. California ... United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 848 representing Vought Aircraft Industries employees in Texas ... and United Steelworkers Local 1190, representing Wheeling Pitt Steel Company employees in Ohio.
First, they met with NASA Administrator Dan Goldin to present him an award for his support of NASA programs. Mr. Goldin thanked the group for playing a key role in saving government funding for the Space Station and for manned space flight in the United States. Dan noted SPEEA is the first Union he knows of "that went on strike to save their company rather than hurt them". During SPEEA's strike, he met on several occasions with the Union's representatives.
The second meeting, on January 15th, was held with U.S. Vice President-elect Dick Cheney. Mr. Cheney took time out of his extremely-busy pre-inauguration activities to meet with this group. Coalition members introduced themselves, talked about defense and technology budgets, and advised that the Coalition will be active in the public policy debates of the 107th Congress.
the Executive Director
We are fast approaching February 9th, the anniversary of our historic 40-day strike. We will certainly use the anniversary as a day of remembrance and celebration. However, I would also suggest that we use it as a chance to consider a better way. Our strike was a result of Boeing Leadership's refusal to respect us as full partners. Instead, they pursued a failed people strategy with flawed tactics. There is a better way, but it will take everyone pushing in the right direction to achieve it.
The good ole days
Boeing used to negotiate with their major unions (the IAM and SPEEA) and then give everyone pretty much the same thing. This provided employees a voice in deciding their wages hours and working conditions. It also fostered a sense of oneness at Boeing. Life was OK. When the company merged with McDonnell Douglas, standardized benefits across the "new enterprise" became a goal. One way to do this would have been, as before, to negotiate with the unions and then give everyone pretty much the same thing.
Instead, an old-school strategy of ignoring employees and attacking unions emerged. Finances ruled the day; there was no moral basis for protecting employee benefits. Everything was based on the bottom-line. Unions were employees' only vehicle for input. Unions were the only barrier to benefit reductions. Non-represented employees had medical premiums unilaterally implemented. The IAM, after threatening a strike, had no benefit take-aways. SPEEA tried to negotiate benefits; but the day before negotiations were to end, Boeing's negotiators wiped the table clean and threw down the non-represented package. Old-school labor relations was the rule of the day ê if you can't hurt the company, you'll be shown no respect. Represented Employees rejected the contracts with 98% NO votes. We went back to the table, but Boeing's negotiators again refused to negotiate and insisted on imposing benefit take-aways. Again the message was clear: yield, or fight for what you believe is right ê you pick. Our members decided that benefits and respect were worth the fight. We fought because people matter, and there was no other way to prove it. We fought to protect all employees and Boeing from this failed strategy. Frankly, we won. We won respect and we won no benefit take-aways. We struck for the first time in our history. Why did the strike happen? What had changed? It was Boeing's people strategy.
Failed People Strategy
Boeing used to have a people strategy that affected policy and practice. Leaders had an idea of how people should be treated and it affected their decisions. Today, financial goals and a union-avoidance strategy have replaced yesterday's people strategy. And we are all paying the price.
Let's look at how Boeing's actions on two issues (reducing headcount, and connecting people to Boeing's business plan) have changed with the evolution to a failed people strategy.
A tale of two issues
With a people strategy that valued employees, headcount was reduced with early retirement incentives available to ALL employees in 1995. All employees were directly connected to Boeing's stock price with the ShareValue program (announced just after negotiations in '92, so it could be offered to ALL employees; and supplemented with the purchase of McDonnell Douglas to allow ALL the new employees to participate in the plan). The first action reduced headcount in a compassionate way; the second connected every employee to Boeing's performance in a meaningful way. Both programs were done for ALL employees ê it simply made sense to do so. If something was the right thing to do, then it should be done for everyone (very similar to the way benefits used to be determined).
Today, things are very different: Facing the very same issues ê reducing employment and engaging employees in Boeing's performance ê the failure of the people strategy is obvious. Instead of retirement incentives and ShareValue for all, Boeing implements voluntary layoff benefits and the EIP for non-represented employees only. Union-represented employees are specifically excluded from participating in programs that would help the company.
We all pay the price exacted by this failed people strategy.
Employees lose individual benefits. Boeing loses the program benefits. Boeing decision-makers are made to look mean-spirited and more concerned with defeating their employees' unions than leading the company in a positive way. This mindset was at the root of our strike. Many times, SPEEA proposals were turned back with, "While that's not a bad idea, we're concerned about the optics of that for non-represented employees." Union avoidance was a higher principle than negotiating the best contract possible. It became a barrier to settlement.
A better way
The Union avoidance strategy has only hurt Boeing. Ironically, it has also only increased employees' appetite for organizing. It is time to let go of the old-school, outdated and mean-spirited union avoidance strategy. Instead, it should be replaced with a union engagement model in which Boeing embraces the unions that employees have chosen to form. There are benefits for everyone.
Boeing should return to treating ALL employees with respect, and stop trying to play employee groups off each other. The EIP is a good example. All employees should be in the EIP.
As we stand at the anniversary of our strike, we must be proud that we stood so strong at such an uncertain time. We should be thankful that we won and gained respect. And we must be committed to a better way in the future. We must continue to push for a real partnership based on mutual respect and engagement. But until the failed people strategy of union avoidance is abandoned, we must keep our swords sharp.
Council highlights - January 18, 2001
Midwest Region Council Meeting
The new bargaining unit in Wichita has selected a new name: Wichita Technical & Professional Unit (WTPU).
The following new Council Reps were seated:
The following Midwest Region Council Officers were elected:
At the all-member meeting on January 17th, the following Midwest Region Tellers Committee members were elected:
WTPU negotiations are progressing. The Team plans to share the Union's proposal with the members at a meeting on February 8th. They will also share the proposal with the Company Team on that date. Questions should be directed to a special email box (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Wichita will be holding an open house at their new office facilities on January 24th. Training for Council Reps and Area Reps will be conducted that same week.
The Midwest Region Council members PASSED a motion for their Council Chair to appoint a By-Laws Committee to develop Regional By-Laws.
Regular SPEEA Council Meeting
A new logo design created by Staff graphics illustrator Wayne Schwisow was displayed. In a nearly unanimous voice-vote, Council members indicated they liked the new logo.
The Council members PASSED a motion to give some flexibility to the Executive Board to determine whether or not union dues should be waived in the event of a strike, while maintaining the Council's ability to override the Board's decision.
The Council members PASSED a motion allowing the SPEEA annual budget to be exceeded when necessary, but requested the SPEEA Treasurer keep the Council informed on the financial status of the Union via periodic updates. Treasurer Richard Taylor agreed to continue to involve the Council in discussions of major changes within SPEEA that relate to its finances (e.g., organizing, joining labor councils, increasing staff, etc.)
Since the previous two items amended the proposed new SPEEA By-Laws, a motion to approve the By-Laws is being delayed until next month's Council meeting, allowing interested members to provide feedback.
Executive Director Charles Bofferding reported: SPEEA is meeting with other IFPTE locals in the Puget Sound area to form a cooperative relationship and determine if there are issues where we can coordinate our efforts ... through CESO, SPEEA is part of the Workforce Coalition. The Workforce Coalition met last week in Washington, DC with both Dan Goldin (NASA Administrator) and Dick Cheney (U.S. Vice President-elect) [see related article] ... Charles will be traveling to Wichita to assist in upcoming WPTU negotiations. Staff member Kurt Hanson has been devoting quite a bit of his time to Wichita ... Newly-elected SCPEA officers take office next week.
A motion to submit a referendum to the membership lowering SPEEA dues (from 0.85 to 0.75 of the average hourly rate) FAILED by a wide margin.
President Craig Buckham reported: The Board is responsible for monitoring the Executive Director's performance, and they do pay close attention. Where appropriate, the Board offers its appreciation for the extremely hard work Charles does for SPEEA, or their constructive suggestions ... The IFPTE Women's Committee is conducting a survey among female IFPTE members; results will be shared at a later date ... SPEEA's Executive Board is in the process of selecting a new SPEEA Co-Director for the Ed Wells Initiative ... SPEEA is monitoring rumors of company business moving overseas ... Craig said he's looking forward to working with the newly-elected leadership at SCPEA.
Staff member Maria Nelson provided an update on the Partnership (see related article).
Both the Organizational Planning Committee and the Legislative & Public Affairs Committee recommended that SPEEA continue its involvement with CESO. They did suggest improvements in reporting on SPEEA's CESO activities and accounting of CESO involvement.
Membership Activities Committee Chair Chris Glenn reported his committee delivered gifts and checks from SPEEA's Christmas Fund to nine laid-off members' families, with a total of 21 kids. The rafting/camping trip and annual golf tournament have been scheduled - watch for more details.
It was reported 7,335 new members were recruited into SPEEA last year. In the first 18 days of January 2001, another 145 have been recruited.
Congratulations to those who recruited member(s) since last month's Council meeting: (9 new members) Kevin Wescott; (3 new members) Chris Glenn; (2 new members) Sharon Moats, Stan Sebring & Bob Wentworth; (and 1 new member) Bill Barrett, Ron Bates, Aila Bergstrom, Brent Berryman, Ted Boehme, Paul Bowman, Lucy Brokaw, Colin Callaghan, Brenda Carlson, Steve Conrad, Cheryl Dobes, George Elliott, Jennifer Fliger, Marietta Harrigan, Neal Harris, Luci Hood, David Horton, David Kehoe, Larry King, Arne Lewis, Ron Lind, Larry Markus, Larry Marrell, Ron Mathes, Neal McCluskey, Michael Meade, Barbara Moore, Keith Neal, Peter Ormiston, Patricia Rinnert, Kerry Scott, Bill Sutton, Charlie Tatel, Joyce Thomas, Gary Thomason, James Turner, Bob Weiss, Jennifer Williams & Evan Wipf.
In an effort to improve, Communications Committee Chair Roger Pullman asked the Council members to complete and return a survey inquiring about communications between themselves and their Area Reps and members.
Northwest Region Council meeting
Guest speakers included Judy Reynolds from the King County Labor Agency and Bill Borders, labor liaison for the Snohomish County United Way. They encouraged SPEEA reps to participate in their Union Counselor Training courses, targeted for the various county areas. Judy also reported that KCLA is hoping to offer a SPEEA-unique union counselor training course. Council members were asked to complete a survey soliciting input on such a course.
Staff member Robbi Alberts reported that Employee Community Fund (ECF) campaign directors are seeking SPEEA reps to serve as labor focals on campaign committees at their sites. Please contact Robbi (206/433-0995, ext. 126) if you are unsure who your local focal is for volunteering for the ECF campaign.
Updated Salary Charts [containing data effective 12/14/00, including the Salaried Job Classification (SJC) conversion data] are available to SPEEA members on the SPEEA website.
Council members elected Tom McCarty to the Executive Board as Northwest Region Vice President, filling the vacancy created by Linda Gilmore's retirement, which term expires March 28, 2001.
(Everett), Gene Blackman (Renton) and Bill Dugovich (Staff) reported on
planned activities for SPEEA's February 9th anniversary celebration. Watch
for notice of lunchtime events at your site!
Partnership report - January 18, 2001
Staff member Maria Nelson reported that this month's Partnership meeting won't be held until next week, but she said there are developments in other areas she could report on.
Last month, Council Rep Paul Morin reported on Partnership efforts in the Facilities area. Paul actually works for SHEA, so he met with his management and they have agreed to establish Partnership activities in the SHEA area as well.
Hank Queen heads up the Commercial Engineering Partnership activities where several Council Reps are getting involved. Each organization is now coming up with a team to support the engagement and partnership efforts. There are 17 teams being formed in Commercial Engineering right now. Participants on these support teams went through training last Monday, January 8th, paid for by the Company. The support teams will be setting up the necessary structure and processes so that engagement occurs. Maria expects a lot of interesting feedback out of the workplace.
Maria shared a viewfoil showing roles and responsibilities for the people making up these support teams. An individual is appointed as "leader" to provide resources and time, and create a safe environment for the team. The SPEEA representative acts as a communicator and a conduit for emerging SPEEA activities and/or concerns. An HR generalist is included to provide advice and counsel and identify emerging HR needs. Someone from Organizational Development provides coaching and helps design and facilitate the Conference Model. Various team members bring ideas and issues forward from their organization.
Maria reported we are putting together a "SPEEA support team" made up of Council Reps, Executive Board members and Staff to coordinate SPEEA's involvement in partnership activities, to provide training, and to help get the activities started in areas where they aren't going on right now.
At next week's Partnership meeting with Dave Swain, SPEEA will be explaining this support team, discussing training, and talking about ways to support new and ongoing partnership efforts. SPEEA's goal is for active participation by Council Reps, and training them as resources of information about partnership activities prior to it hitting the street.
Maria said these efforts are only touching about five percent of our members right now. She suggested any Council Reps who are interested in participating should contact her to find out if the effort has already begun in their area, or to discuss how they can help initiate partnership activities (joint problem-solving) in their own organization.
Ceremonies and events to mark the one-year anniversary of the day that changed Boeing and SPEEA are being finalized.
A number of locations are planning site-specific events, including guest speakers, burn-barrel signings, and refreshments during employees' lunch-breaks. Tentative locations include:
The burn barrels will be specially-refurbished models. Members will have the opportunity to sign the barrels as a way of remembering the sacrifices made one year ago.
SPEEA members attending the lunch-break events will be given a special anniversary sticker. The stickers can be worn on badges for the 40-day anniversary. The anniversary is also a good day to wear your strike shirts and sweatshirts!
Everett is holding a food drive as a way to say "thank you" to the Snohomish County food banks that supported members during the strike. Non-perishable food donations can be brought to the Everett BBQ at Twin Towers, or dropped off at SPEEA's Everett office.
Food donations can also be brought to SPEEA Headquarters in Tukwila, or to any of the other event sites. We'll make sure donations go to sources who provided us help when we needed it.
We encourage Council Reps, Area Reps and SPEEA members to get involved in the planning for their local event!
Remembering the first anniversary of our strike gives us an opportunity to honor the sacrifices and recommit ourselves to the job of promoting the Partnership, and maintaining Boeing's status as the world leader in aerospace!
Everett Open House
An "Open House" will be held at the Everett Office from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, February 9th. There will be displays and momentos from the strike, along with current visibility items. A video of the strike events will run continuously, acknowledging our members' success. Cake and other refreshments will be available. Participants are asked to bring non-perishable food donations (or cash donations) so we can help replenish those food banks we depleted during our strike.
Strike video provides keepsake
SPEEA member Steve Kress video-taped numerous strike-related events throughout the 40 days that members walked the picket line. He has since compiled the footage into a single VHS tape and is selling copies for $5 each. If you'd like to order one, you can contact Steve at email@example.com.
On Thursday, January 11th, Council Representative Chris Glenn and Contract Administrator Bob Rommel joined with other representatives of the Snohomish County Labor Council in walking with nearly 200 celebrants from Everett Community College to the naval facility on the Everett waterfront honoring the late Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. The activity started with a vivid rendition of one of Mr. King's memorable speeches which roused the spirits of the marchers to the waterfront.
Upon arriving at the naval facility, the ceremonies continued with the introduction of various city and county officials. Local schools (all levels) provided varying entertainment interspersed with the public speakers. It was a true celebration in recognizing and honoring diversity. Our representatives reported back how proud they were to be involved in this activity.
PNW Guild - fight continues at Seattle Times
The strike is over, but The Seattle Times continues to punish employees.
Times management refused to allow all workers to return to work at the same time. As of Friday, January 19, the official PNW Guild website listed more than 100 employees who have not been allowed to return to work. Workers inside the Times say the actual number of employees who have not been called back is between 300 and 400.
Returning employees have filed more than 40 grievances against the Times, according to Bob Hoffman, Guild spokesman.
The Times has not provided the Guild with a rehire schedule or list of employees they want back to work. Hoffman said many workers returned to find their positions permanently filled by less-experienced workers. He added that many of the less-experienced workers were enticed to cross the picket lines by promises of promotions.
Hoffman said that, while management at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer welcomed all of its employees back, the Times appears to have mounted a campaign designed to encourage older workers to quit.
In the wake of this most recent development, Hoffman said the Guild is not encouraging anyone to re-subscribe to The Seattle Times.
"We are encouraging people to take the P-I during the week, from Monday through Saturday," Hoffman said. "Do not subscribe to the Sunday newspaper because it is predominantly a product of The Seattle Times."
The best way to change your subscription is to call the circulation department directly at (206) 464-2121. The one number handles circulation for both newspapers.
Thank you note from Guild striker
As a Seattle Times employee and member of the Newspaper Guild, I'd like to thank all the SPEEA members who made life on the picket line quite cozy. Those SPEEA stoves were great! Thanks for the moral support, as well.
/s/ Laura Gordon, Times copy editor (still waiting to get my job back)
Revisions proposed for SPEEA By-Laws
Two motions were passed by Council members at their January 18, 2001 meeting which revise the proposed new SPEEA By-Laws. Thus, the motion to finally approve the SPEEA By-Laws has been delayed until the February 8th Council meeting, to allow time for members to provide feedback on these changes.
One change gives some flexibility to the Executive Board to determine whether or not union dues should be waived in the event of a strike, while maintaining the Council's ability to override the Board's decision. [Ref. Section 3.3.1]
The second change allows the SPEEA annual budget to be exceeded when necessary, but the Treasurer must provide periodic updates to the SPEEA Council on the Union's financial status. [Ref. Section 8.5.2]
These changes are now reflected in the Proposed SPEEA By-Laws, as posted on our website (www.speea.org). If you have any feedback regarding these By-Laws, we encourage you to contact your local Council Rep prior to their February 8th meeting. At that meeting, we hope to gain approval of the new SPEEA By-Laws.
A resignation has been received from George Buchanan for his Council Rep position in Wichita's new bargaining unit District N-6 (WTPU, Wichita, 1-198D, 1-258H, 1-265B, 1-269D, 1-271A, 1-355C, 5-5064 Buildings). If you reside in this district, are a member of SPEEA, and would like to apply to fill this vacancy-please contact the SPEEA-Wichita office for instructions (316/682-0262).
With his seating on the Executive Board, Tom McCarty's position as Council Rep for District K-9 (Profs, Kent, 18-01, 18-04 & 18-05 Buildings) is now vacant. If you reside in this district, are a member of SPEEA, and would like to apply for this vacancy-please contact Terry at (206) 433-0995, ext. 130 or firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions.
Your completed petition must reach the SPEEA office by 5:00 p.m. the date before the meeting where you wish to first serve (the next Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 8.)
Message from Jerry Daniels, plus one member's response
This message was sent on Wed, 1/17/01 from Jerry Daniels (Boeing Senior VP, President of Military Aircraft and Missile Systems) to employees in his organization.
Subject: Charging Ahead Toward a Bright Future
Boeing's financial results for 2000 are terrific. Today, the company reported a substantial improvement in its operating margins for the year.
These margins increased 25 percent to 7.4 percent - clear evidence that our team is on track and charging ahead.
For our A&M segment, the picture is just as bright. We generated $1.3 billion in operating earnings for the year on $12.2 billion in revenues. Our operating margins were 10.4 percent, making 2000 the second consecutive year of double-digit performance.
Throughout A&M, we're seeing solid performance from almost every program. The credit for this goes to each of you and to the way you've delivered on our commitments to our customers and worked together as a team.
Perhaps the most tangible proof of our company's success will come in mid-February with the first-ever distribution from the Employee Incentive Program, or EIP. Put in place last year, EIP encourages employees to think and act as owners of the company and gives them a direct stake in Boeing's performance. The company expects to announce the value of the payout early next week.
For 2001, we've raised the chinning bar. The potential EIP payout has been doubled, and our business plan is more challenging than ever. So how do we achieve an encore performance? The answer is simple. We stay focused on the four priorities that have gotten our team to this point.
First, we must meet our commitments. Nothing is more critical to our ability to win new business. Second, we must grow our business. Third, we've got to continue to improve the way we do business by increasing our efficiency and reducing cycle times and defects. And last, but certainly not least, we must continue to strengthen our team. Our team's diverse talents are clearly our greatest competitive advantage. In 2001, we're going to find new ways to more deeply involve every employee, supplier and customer in our business.
Thanks again for a super job in 2000!
One Member's Response
Thank you for the message you sent congratulating us teammates about the great progress by A&M during 2000. This was a truly inspirational message. I hope I can continue to contribute positively to the excellent performance of A&M and to the Company.
However I'd like to elaborate on one little detail omitted from this letter: The EIP payment is only for those "teammates" who are not represented by a labor union.
It is unfortunate that the Company "encourages employees to think and act as owners of the company and gives them a direct stake in Boeing's performance," but only gives recognition to those "teammates" who are not represented by a labor union.
It is true in the last couple of years the IAM 751 and SPEEA contracts here in Puget Sound offered some type of bonus to its bargaining unit members. I believe the request for a bonus might not have been an issue in either negotiation had all "teammates" (i.e. regardless of whether represented or not) been eligible for participation in the EIP.
I am pleased for my teammates who are getting the recognition through EIP.
However, I think this type of motivation the Company promotes is divisive, and counterproductive to the "One Company" we've envisioned ourselves to be.
Thank you for listening to me.
/s/ Linda Thomas, B-2 System Safety Engineering, SPEEA Area Representative
Reita Cruze scholarship
Available to sons and daughters of Boeing employees in Washington
Applications for the Reita Cruze Scholarship administered by The Seattle Foundation are being accepted from highschool seniors of Boeing employees. The deadline for submitting applications is March 31, 2001. There are three one-time scholarships of $2,000 available for students accepted at Seattle University, University of Washington, Washington State University or Western Washington University.
Offered every year, the scholarship was created in 1995 by Deane Cruze, retired Boeing senior vice president of Operations, in honor of his wife Reita's commitment to children and education. He also generated this gift as a tribute to Boeing and the thousands of people that make up the company.
For more information call the Seattle Foundation on (206) 622-2294.
BECU Foundation scholarship
Each year the Boeing Employees Credit Union Foundation awards at least twenty-five $2,000 scholarships to graduating high-school seniors and current, full-time undergraduate college students. Last year, 38 were awarded. This is how the Foundation extends the Credit Union philosophy of "people helping people" - by offering educational support to members and their families.
Applicants must be members of BECU. Scholarship recipients are chosen on the basis of participation in community and school activities, leadership, and academic achievement. Applications can be obtained from BECU's Website (http://www.becu.org) or by calling Member Services at (206) 439-5700 or 1-800-233-2328.
Applications must be postmarked by March 31, 2001, to be eligible for consideration.
Kevin Cahoon, Associate VP/Retirement Planning Specialist, and Andrew Hergert, Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, will be presenting these free seminars for people who are close to retirement and asking themselves: Do I have enough money to retire? How can I reduce my taxes? What are the appropriate investment strategies for my goals based on the risk I'm willing to assume? If you are close to retirement and don't have answers to these questions, take an hour of your day to attend.
SPEEA members and spouses are invited. Box lunches will be provided. To reserve your spot and request a box lunch, call Andrew Hergert at (206) 224-4203 or 1-800-733-4873.