February 16, 2001 Newsletter #1823
SPEEA's successful partnership with Mother Nature paid off again on Friday (February 9) as skies cleared for the one-year anniversary of the day when 19,000 technical workers walked off the job at The Boeing Company.
"It was a lot like the day we walked out; the sky parted and the sun came out," said Council Rep Lynda Maynard (R-14) while working at the event at Boeing Corporate Headquarters.
Events took place at ten locations around Puget Sound and at Company facilities in Spokane, Portland, Florida and Utah. Major sites had burn barrels on hand for workers to sign. All of the locations shared a portion of more than 10,000 SPEEA cookies and special anniversary badge stickers.
The weather was not quite as cooperative in Spokane where the region was dusted by snow flurries. However, Dennis Davaz (Spokane Council Rep) said about 50 workers, including some managers, were under cover thanks to a group of Boeing second-level managers who donated a portable awning for the event. Executive Board member Alan Rice hand-carried greetings, cookies and other items for the lunchtime barbecue.
"It was really a treat for us to have Alan here," Davaz said. "We had a great event and the mood, especially with the managers who came out, was a lot different than last year. It was positive and a lot of fun."
Members at Edwards Air Force Base in California held their celebration on Monday.
"The cookies arrived a little late. The folks here are spread out all over the place," said California Council Rep Jeff Lewis.
More than 800 people enjoyed pizza in Renton. Everett's Burn Barrel Barbecue attracted 700 workers who enjoyed food, speeches and the music of Diana & the Strykers. About 250 to 300 attended events at Corporate Headquarters and the Developmental Center. Kent drew about 400 outside for their lunchtime festivities.
Many of the sites collected donations for local food banks. At the end of the day, estimates placed the donations at between 1/2 and one ton of non-perishable food items. Cash donations totaled more than $2,800.00. The money and food will be split about equally between King and Snohomish county food banks.
About two-dozen members gathered for lunch at Cape Canaveral in Florida.
"All the folks were surprised by the package of cookies," said Florida Council Rep Mike Johnson. "We ate some and then passed out quite a few to other workers and managers."
Council Chairman Pat Waters said the Everett event was an emotional experience.
"It was a lot of fun," Waters said. "I'm glad we did it."
Notes from the Executive
There are other and better reportings of last Friday's activities in this Newsletter, so I won't try to duplicate them. Just let me say that once again we showed the power of empowered people with clear goals working together to meet those goals. Let's always be perfectly clear: the credit for everything that SPEEA accomplishes rightly goes to the people.
The foundation for Friday's activities was locally-based and driven. Our members said that they wanted a commemoration of the day and the entire organization responded. Just as in the strike, self-directed work teams supported by staff was the baseline process. This meant that each site's events, while honoring the day and the people who made our strike successful, had its own flavor. Every place had something to eat; some had hot dogs, some hamburgers, others pizza, many cake and just about all had SPEEA cookies. People spoke at all events: some had sound systems, others had people with loud (and soft) voices. Some locations had bands. Depending on the location, "officials" from SPEEA and labor, members, picket captains and/or others shared their views. The events were held both outside and inside, with and without the visible support and participation of management.
We once again felt the camaraderie that carried us in our struggle for respect for Boeing's technical community. We reminded ourselves that a strike was the last thing anybody wanted, but our commitment required action. That same commitment now demands that we work our hardest to make the budding Partnership at Boeing work for everyone.
Friday was a great day. It reminded me of the power generated by empowered people with clear goals working together to achieve those goals. It also reminded me how fun hard work and sacrifice can be when you're moving in a positive direction, part of something bigger - dare I say generating a sense of family.
People used to wonder if SPEEA was strong. Regrettably, power was most often defined as the ability to hurt. Well, there is no longer any doubt about our ability to hurt Boeing with a strike; however, our most impressive power is the power to work with everyone else at Boeing to make things better (ref. getting production back on schedule in record time). Our challenge is to now demonstrate that power as effectively as our demonstration of power a year ago.
There is no doubt that SPEEA is powerful, we now have to use our power to make good things happen.
Oh, one other thing I'd like to share. In Wichita, we start Main-Table negotiations for the newly organized unit on Monday, February 19. Last Thursday (the day before our events in Seattle), I was at an all member meeting in Wichita to discuss our proposal. Two things stood out. The feeling of camaraderie that we all felt so strongly a year ago and on Friday was in that room. It was real and it is a source of power for the group. The second was a decision by the group. They had planned to take a strike authorization vote at the meeting to "show that they meant business and were together." After some discussion, the group agreed to forego a strike vote - they realized that this is the first interaction with Boeing management and it would set the tone for all future relationships. Their commitment is to forming a partnership and they wanted to send that message. With 700 people in attendance, all but three agreed that taking a strike vote was not the thing to do. Instead of voting for a strike, they committed to recruiting more members. Over 100 people were recruited in the next two days. This is real power and they intend to use it to make good things happen.
Council highlights-February 8, 2001
Everett Contract Administrator Mark Moshay provided training for Council Reps on "Understanding the EEO Process". He talked about definitions for "protected class", "discrimination" and the EEOC. He covered the Union representative's role in handling discrimination complaints and reviewed the various avenues for pursuing EEO complaints (grievances, Boeing EEO, federal EEOC, filing a lawsuit, and settlement & mediation). Reps shouldn't hesitate to assist someone with a discrimination complaint. He reminded reps to be good listeners, to explain the time limitations on filing complaints and options available, then pass the information on to their contract administrator. If you attend an EEO hearing, you should follow the same procedure as for Security interviews (i.e., you may take notes, ask questions, confer and/or caucus with the employee). EEO laws provide that employers may not retaliate against employees who file a discrimination complaint. Following his presentation, Mark passed out a booklet listing various resources to learn more about filing EEO complaints, and containing a short quiz "What's your EEO IQ?"
The following Council Reps were seated for the remainder of their term of office:
E-14 James Roberts (Everett, Techs, 40-88 Building)
K-9 Robert Boys (Kent, Profs, 18-01, 18-04 & 18-05 Buildings)
I-2 Joyce Thomas (Irving, Texas - all buildings)
The proposed budgets for fiscal year 2001/2002 for the SPEEA Council and for the Northwest Regional Council were approved.
The SPEEA Council passed a motion to waive Section 5.3 of the SPEEA Constitution (as allowed in Constitution Section 7.4.1) for the newly-organized Wichita Technical & Professional Bargaining Unit, allowing newly-elected Council Reps to remain in office until the next scheduled Council elections in 2003.
The SPEEA Council passed a motion (recommended by SPEEA's Organizational Planning Committee) to revise SPEEA Policy Section II-C as it relates to Organizing. This policy allows SPEEA to organize groups that contain technical/professional employees at The Boeing Company (or its subsidiaries, joint ventures or successor employers), with regular updates provided to Council Reps through the Organizational Planning Committee. Any other organizing would require specific Council approval.
The SPEEA Council voted NO on a motion for a membership referendum to establish separate dues rates for each of SPEEA's bargaining units, based on 0.85 of that unit's average hourly rate.
The SPEEA Council passed motions to move the Council meeting start time up (on a trial basis); and to revise the order of the Council meeting agendas.
The SPEEA Council passed a motion (recommended by SPEEA's Legislative & Public Affairs Committee) to support legislative efforts to require any U.S. airport with scheduled airline service or significant business jet traffic, as a condition of receiving Airport Improvement Money and grants, to strengthen its runways and taxiways and insure adequate ground maneuver clearance as necessary to accommodate American-built airplanes of at least the size of a Boeing 737 and its derivatives.
The SPEEA Council passed a motion to approve the revised SPEEA By-Laws, as posted on our website.
Candidates in the upcoming SPEEA election for President, and for Northwest Regional Vice President, were each allowed to say a few words to Council members.
It was reported that 325 new members have joined SPEEA since the first of this year - 131 in just the first 8 days of February. The following have recruited new members since last month's meeting: (6 new members each) Rick Terney & Kevin Wescott; (2 new members) Jerry Andre, Don Gardner & Lawren Havlik; and (1 new member) Bill Barrett, Aila Bergstrom, Gene Blackman, Bob Brunelle, Brenda Carlson, Jennifer Fliger, Chris Glenn, David Kehoe, Tom Kennedy, Karl Koenig, David Lawniczak, Arne Lewis, Ken Lucero, John Lynn, John Mack, Larry Marrell, John McLaren, Montgomery Morgan, Pete Mueller, Valeriano Pa, Laurel Reiff, Merle Rhoads, Bill Scott, Michael Shull, Steve Spyridis, Neil Toyne, James Turner & Calvin Unruh.
Pat Waters (Everett) reported SPEEA's DER Concerns Committee has met several times with managers of the Certification organization. They hope to go in front of Hank Queen's chartering committee and formally charter a joint Partnership effort in the development of a new certification process for Boeing. This will be the first formal joint effort, and committee leaders are very enthusiastic.
Council Reps were encouraged
to submit any proposed revisions to their "district delineation"
prior to February 21st, when the Tellers Committee will be finalizing
the district delineations for the upcoming Council Rep elections.
At the February 8, 2001 SPEEA Council meeting, Staff member Maria Nelson provided an update on the Partnership activities. The Working Together Partnership meeting was held with Dave Swain just following last month's Council meeting. Dave talked about Phil Condit's revisions to Vision 2016. He said, at the top management offsite meeting held last month, they spent a good deal of time on "People" issues, as compared to the previous year. The message was clear that our strike really had an impact on people, and some changes are needed.
At the Swain meeting, Hank Queen gave a presentation on the Partnership activities in Commercial Engineering. Hank will be at next month's SPEEA Council meeting to share this report with SPEEA Council Reps. He will talk about issues they are dealing with in Commercial Engineering, People strategies, and Partnership activities. Maria said she also hopes to let some of the people involved in engagement efforts talk about what's going on in their areas.
Maria noted that joint communications are "desirable", but haven't been happening. They talked about using the Ed Wells Initiative website as a way to distribute these updates.
Also at the Swain meeting, SPEEA talked about the SPEEA Partnership Support Team that is made up of a cross section of SPEEA people active on the partnership activities from the various major organizations: executive board members, council and staff. This group held a meeting on February 1st. Their goals include coordinating the various Partnership activities, assuring that SPEEA participants receive adequate training, and encouraging new partnership efforts through Council Reps in areas where they aren't happening. This group will be attending a second day of training next week, in Seattle and Everett, for support teams involved on the Commercial Engineering partnership efforts.
Maria noted, at future Council meetings, she plans to have the people who are involved in these Partnership activities do some reporting. Back to Contents
ECF looking for boosters-a leadership opportunity!
You can help your community, as well as develop your leadership skills, by becoming a Booster for the Employees Community Fund (ECF) campaign at your site. During the campaign - April 30 through May 11 - boosters will recognize and thank employees for supporting their communities through ECF, and answer questions.
Desired booster characteristics include: energetic and enthusiastic, care about others, like to meet new people, seek to acquire leadership skills, and desire to make a difference in your community. No previous experience is required; training will be provided. To be a good booster, you should have strong communication and organizational skills ... have the ability to work without direct supervision ... be compassionate and a good listener ... be able to communicate across all paycodes ... be a good role model among your peers ... and be committed to the goals and objectives of ECF.
Interested SPEEA members/leaders can contact their appropriate site focal listed below, or call Boeing Community Relations at 1-888-412-CARE.
*East Corridor (Bellevue, BECO, Blackriver, Corporate Square, East Valley Office Center, Fort Dent II, Gateway, Kent Benaroya, Recreation Center, Renton Place, Stonehenge, Washington Tech Center)
**West Corridor (Plant II, Spares, South Park, Customer Services, Thompson Site, Sea Tac Tower)
Third part in a series studying how Shareholder Value affects our jobs and our futures. See also, "Out-sourcing" and "Diversification" (www.speea.org/hotissues)
Our Jobs, Our Future,
For decades, large companies, Boeing included, honored an implicit "social contract." The arrangement was based on strong common interest and common destiny for employer and employee. Job security depended on the company's success. In the implicit social contract, job security was connected to employees' commitment. Employees looked forward to a career, and formed social and personal bonds to honor that commitment.
In the "marketability" model, that social contract is absent. Common interests of the company and the employee are weakened, or missing altogether.
Examples from other industries
A consultant is hired for a specific project. The employer and consultant both clearly recognize that the arrangement is temporary. No job security is offered. No long-term commitment is generated.
In the motion picture industry, producers bring together writers, a director, editor, cast and crew. They work on the project, then return to a "labor pool." This is in contrast to the "studio" model of the 30's and 40's where a vertically-integrated studio managed all elements of production using direct employees.
Craft workers, like carpenters or electricians, are hired for specific projects, then return to a labor pool.
The software industry and much of Silicon Valley operate, in part, on a highly-mobile or contingent basis, with turnover rates commonly in the 25% to 40% range.
In these industries, employees' develop their careers by building their marketability in each employment experience. They grow in their careers by taking on new challenges, learning marketable skills, and forming stronger business or professional networks. They are increasing their "marketability."
In the marketability arrangement, the employees' commitment is to their profession. Security comes from having the knowledge and skills to be employable at different companies or in different industries.
In practice, a project might require fresh skills that are not available internally. Veteran or long-service employees offer no particular advantage. To the contrary, a younger employee is more likely to have a "hot" skill, while an older employee may be out-of-date. Older employees could experience salary discounts as businesses struggle to retain younger workers.
Ten years ago, Apple Computer stated this relationship openly to its employees. Apple could not promise long careers, but they could promise an exciting, valuable, "marketable" experience until the employee moved on or the company let them go when their skills were no longer needed.
Similarly, a pharmaceutical company switching from chemical synthesis to genetically-engineered products may prefer to hire biochemists, rather than retrain their organic chemists. The company would acquire a new set of required skills most easily by rotating old scientists out and new ones in.
It is worth observing that the "marketability" arrangement is driven by cost pressures; however, the practice has its greatest success in markets characterized by growth and dynamic product development.
The marketability model is attractive in the Shareholder Value business plan, because the company will not pay the costs of training or developing employees' careers. Instead, the labor market will absorb people as their work is out-sourced, and the market will supply new people ready to work in new ventures.
Future articles in this series will look at some implications of these practices.
DeVry Institute of Technology
Education has become a prerequisite for meaningful careers. What was once a luxury, is now an essential step in a successful career path.
DeVry Institute of Technology is a school new in the State of Washington, located in Federal Way. DeVry offers students Master and Bachelor Degrees in:
Electronic Engineering Technology
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Electronic Computer Technology (Assoc. degree)
What makes DeVry different is that you can achieve your Bachelor Degree in just three years. If you or anyone you know is interested in furthering your education, please contact Milt De Asis at (253) 943-2800.
Former employee reminisces about anniversary of SPEEA's strike
I hope you're all doing well, both in your personal lives and at work.
It's hard to believe, but it's already been a year since we were so insulted by top Boeing management that we had to walk off the job, putting the welfare of our families at risk in an effort to be treated like humans. I don't need to remind any of you how scary and distasteful that was. Nor do you need to be reminded that we won that battle with the company and gave our Union the strength to negotiate better contracts and to organize the folks in Wichita who have been treated with disrespect for years. The positive results of your actions are long lasting and will benefit you and your fellow workers forever.
I've thought about that strike alot during the past months and I'm still overwhelmed by the selflessness and courage of the families of all you who went out and walked the picket lines on those cold, wet days and nights. You're much better people than the company deserved. You are the brains and muscle of the corporation. You, not Condit and Stonecipher, create, build and service the products that make the company and our nation strong. The corporate officers take credit for your work but they're the wave, not the water. Without you, they'd have no reason to congratulate themselves and no awards to accept. They've lost sight of that fact, but I haven't and I hope you won't either. If the load becomes too oppressive, you must again take corrective action.
There is a corporate intellect at Boeing which includes a corporate ethic. Its a proud one and I'm grateful that it resides in you, the soul and backbone of the company; it wouldn't be safe anyplace else. Throughout my career at Boeing I was always impressed by the integrity of you folks who not only knew how to do the right thing, but you also really wanted to do it.
You're the best. Congratulations on this first anniversary of an important event.
Do good work and be proud of yourselves,
/s/ Hal Weiland
To whom it may concern,
I just returned to my desk from a very enjoyable gathering in front of the DC to celebrate all we gained from the strike last year. It was great seeing many of the "brothers and sisters" again that I spent so many worthwhile hours on the line with, already a year ago. Though they may have been "gone", they were definitely not forgotten.
I would like to thank all those at SPEEA and elsewhere that organized the party. The roll sandwiches, cookies, pop, and candies were delicious and much appreciated. All attending signed the bright yellow burn barrel, told stories over the megaphone, laughed and remembered the great time we had during the strike. Food was collected for local food banks as well. The gathering sent a very positive message that we are still "one" and should never again be taken lightly as a labor force.
/s/ James M. Schinke
A member speaks
Anyone who's trying to weasel out of paying the dues should go to work for a company that doesn't have union representation, as far as I'm concerned, and sit back and watch as they're taken advantage of from the corporate mentality from that company. I'm glad to pay the dues and hope you all never bend on this requirement. The only reason we're at where we are today is because of SPEEA and the stand we made last year. Thanks guys.
/s/ Kelly Frankenbery
Retirement planning & investing
Chris Martelli, CFP & Investment Advisor, and Michael Pak, Regional VP with Fidelity Investments, will present this free workshop dedicated to retirement planning & investing. Get answers to: How much money will I need when I retire? How will inflation affect my style of living through my retirement years? What should I be doing with my investments now and into retirement? Which pension option should I choose? When should I take Social Security? What can I do now to prepare for retirement later? Is a Roth IRA right for me?
Complementary one-hour retirement planning consultation for every attendee. To register, call Chris Martelli at (425) 275-5138 - or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Spouses welcome.
Free retirement planning seminars
Kevin Cahoon, Associate Vice President, Retirement Planning Specialist, and Andrew Hergert, Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, will be presenting these free seminars for people who are close to retirement, considering a lump-sum distribution or rollover from their VIP/FSP and asking themselves: Do I have enough money to retire? What taxes and IRS penalties can be imposed on my lump-sum distribution? What are appropriate long-term strategies for my lump-sum or rollover that will best achieve my goals? 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 although space is limited. Box lunches will be provided. To reserve your space and request a box lunch, call Andrew Hergert at (206) 224-4203 or 1-800-733-4873.
"Falstaff" opera ticket discounts
SPEEA still has a few tickets left for the opera "Falstaff" on:
Saturday, May 19, 2001
Tickets are available at a 30% discount in two sections: "Orchestra Center" (OCT) @ $63 each (reg. $90), and "Orchestra Center Back" (OCB) @ $50 each (reg. $70).
Place your order now to confirm your reservations, first-come, first-serve.
Opera ticket order form
Please send me the following
tickets. Enclosed is my check (payable to "SPEEA") in the amount of $_______________
Card # __________________________________
___ OCT @ $63 each (only 8 left)
___ OCB @ $50 each (only 17 left)
Name ______________________________ Clock #________
Phone: h: (____ )____________ w: ( ____) ______________
Mail to: SPEEA
Opera tickets, 15205 - 52nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98188
A member who was informed of a disciplinary meeting and desired representation recently contacted SPEEA. Because of the unique scheduled time of the meeting, the local Contract Administrator chose to participate rather than dispatching a Council Rep.
During the course of the meeting, it became readily apparent to the Union representative that a conflict existed between the employee, the manager and the People representative. The Employer was issuing the employee a five-day suspension for "alleged verbal confrontations over the telephone". When questioned about corroboration of the alleged activities and the ensuing "good faith investigation", the parties ultimately concurred that they had different perceptions as to what an appropriate course of action would be. The employee served the suspension and the Union immediately grieved the issue.
At the Step 3 hearing, the Union argued that the Employer had: 1) failed to provide any evidence or corroboration that the incident occurred as alleged, and 2) chose to send the action straight to their internal discipline board without even performing a surface investigation. In summary, just cause was not satisfied.
SPEEA recently received confirmation from Union Relations regarding the settlement of this grievance. The member was made whole for the time lost while the Union reinforced the concept of "good faith investigation" with the Company counterparts. Once this issue was elevated to the appropriate level of responsibility within the Company, those officials ensured that the correct resolution for everyone was accomplished. [BR]
SPEEA DOES Make A Difference!
Waiters deserve "minimum wage"- at a MINIMUM!
If the Washington Restaurant Association has its way, a portion of waiters' tips will be deducted from their wages.
The WRA and its lobbyists in Olympia have been meeting with WA Governor Gary Locke and state legislative leaders asking them to pass a "tip credit" law that would allow owners of eating, drinking or gaming establishments to credit tips as wages, and pay employees less than the minimum wage.
These lobbyists think waiters make too much money, and that's what they are telling elected officials. Call and leave a message for your Representatives, Senator and the Governor on the Legislative Hotline: 1-800-562-6000 and tell them NO TIP CREDIT!