October 19, 2001 Newsletter #1854
60-Day Notices of Layoff were issued to a total of 402 Puget Sound-based SPEEA-represented employees & 212 Wichita employees on October 12, 2001 for possible layoff on December 14, 2001. Data is shown below by bargaining unit, site and major organization:
Skills with 10 or more:
We understand nearly 1400 contract employees are being let go, which provides a major buffer against layoff for direct-hires in our bargaining units. SPEEA's contracts provide that contract employees should be let go before direct employee in the same job classification are laid off. SPEEA will be monitoring to assure these contract provisions are adhered to.
"Inspiring! This seminar provides a "real world' perspective."
"This was the most practical and realistic seminar I've attended about layoffs."
"I wish I had this information the day I hired into Boeing."
"This was an eye-opening experience. A fast-moving overview, with pointed examples."
This two-hour session encompasses a rational, systematic approach in coping with layoff, using a totally integrated analysis to examine all facets of this issue i.e., psychological, professional and financial, to name a few critical ones.
The guest speaker, a SPEEA professional member with 32 years of Boeing experience, was himself the victim of the massive 1971 layoffs that almost devastated Boeing. He has used the lessons learned from this experience to develop positive approaches in dealing with layoff, not only for personal betterment, but has also shared it informally with hundreds of SPEEA members in his capacity as a skill advisor and a career counselor.
If you have received a 60-Day Notice and face imminent Layoff, this class will offer you some short-term tactics to apply immediately. For others who risk or face layoff, the information provided will better prepare you for the difficulties that lie ahead.
RSVP: Please contact
the appropriate number listed above to sign up for this free workshop.
Notes from the Executive
Since Boeing's announcement of 30% staffing cuts by December 2002, I have been to a number of lunchtime meetings. The question that comes up again and again is "What do you really think is happening?"
Before I answer that question, let me share my informal survey results with you. At most meetings (sometimes I forget), I have people choose between three options. Do they think Boeing is: 1) using a bad situation to get rid of employees; 2) overacting to a bad situation; or 3) doing everything possible to keep people employed? Number Two is the winner at all lunches; three gets very few votes (one each in Auburn and Kent); oddly, one got fewest votes where layoffs are the greatest and the most where layoffs are few.
OK, back to my answer.
What I think is really happening is the following:
* The airlines have suffered a tremendous shock and won't recover for some time.
* Airplane orders and deliveries will NOT come back as fast as the airlines recover. In fact, while the airlines could recover in months, Boeing will take years to recover. This is because right now airlines are losing money and piling up debt. The first thing they will do when recovery finally arrives is NOT order or take delivery of aircraft - it is to pay off some of their debt (balance the balance sheet). This means years of reduced aircraft sales and deliveries.
* Boeing's top people are very concerned about maintaining profit, and are in a rush to cut people to protect both the short-term and the long-term prospects for Boeing.
* Boeing's top people do NOT like laying people off, but given their priorities and sense of what is happening, they feel they have to.
* Boeing's decision-makers didn't believe they had an obligation to give 60 days notice [more on this here] and did it anyway (which is a good thing).
* It is a terrible thing to lay people off just before the holidays. Laying people off just before the holidays sends all the wrong messages. It says profits are more important than people.
* The rush to get people out the door ASAP has blocked a number of possible mitigation efforts for the first wave that we should continue to pursue in the future. Displacing contract employees with people outside of their skill area and examination of work placed outside the Company for capacity reasons are two. We will continue to work these areas hard after the first wave.
* We have to make sure that, by downsizing direct employees and keeping too much outside work, our jobs and careers are not being outsourced without us knowing it.
* People in the workplace know more about contractors and outsourced work than any SPEEA leaders; and, therefore, everyone needs to share what they know about both with their Council Reps and Contract Administrators.
* The only way to move lay-offs to the other side of the holidays is for us to do it ourselves. Therefore, we have set up the KCLA/SPEEA Cares fund. Everyone should contribute to this. We need to show the world that Boeing's people not only think it is wrong to lay people off just before the holidays - we are doing something about it. If we all give a one-time donation equal to two hours of pay we'd get there. Myself - I gave a full day's pay.
* In adversity, people and organizations show their true colors - beliefs, principles and priorities. The measure of a person/organization is not what they say during good times, it is what they do (and how they do it) during hard times. The vast majority of SPEEA-represented employees are measuring up very well. We are focused on doing good things with positive action.
* The Partnership is not dead - it is needed now more than ever. We must stay positively engaged to help the best possible happen for our people. It would be easy to simply throw stones. The harder, but more productive, thing is to engage to ensure that our voice and impact is in the process that is shaping our future. And push with a vengeance for what is right from our perspective.
* We have a big challenge in front of us, but our direct involvement is making a difference.
And that's what I really think.
BTW: If you'd like to have a lunchtime meeting in your area, talk with your Council Rep who can set one up.
60-Day Notices - Required for Union represented employees
By Charles Bofferding, Executive Director
Contrary to what top decision-makers say (and actually believe), Boeing DID have to give 60 days notice before lay-off - at least to represented employees.
I believe that Boeing's top people really believe they didn't have to, and we should accept it as true that they gave 60-days notice because a majority thought it was the right thing to do. However, a better understanding of unions and labor law would have suggested very strongly that there was a requirement to provide 60 days notice to represented employees.
For union-represented employees, a company cannot unilaterally change existing policies and practices without first negotiating with their union. Therefore, while the WARN act may not have required Boeing to provide 60 days notice to all employees, Boeing's established policy and practices, without negotiations to the contrary, did require 60 day notification for union-represented employees.
To establish Boeing's policy and practice we would point to many things - discussions both ongoing and during negotiations and past practice to name a few. We would also point to a May 6, 1998 letter signed by Phil Condit and Harry Stonecipher regarding 60 day notice which states "Although this practice was initiated based on provisions of the ...(WARN) Act, it was later determined that providing employees with 60-days advanced notification of layoff was an appropriate practice, regardless of the provisions of the WARN Act." And "This practice supports the Vision 2016 Integrity statement by treating everyone fairly and with trust and respect". And "Please take the necessary actions within your respective organizations to assure that this practice is incorporated into your business plans." The letter was addressed to Mulally, Palmer and Woodard. It is clear that 60-days notice was indeed part of Boeing's standard practice and policy.
The irony here is that the May 6, 1998 memo actually looks like an attempt at union avoidance. It also contains the paragraph "Therefore, all employees of The Boeing Company who are subject to layoff will be provided with a 60-Day Advanced Notification letter, with the exception of heritage McDonnell Douglas and Boeing North American represented employees who are covered by collective bargaining agreements and not afforded 60-day notification under current contractual language." So much for "treating everyone fairly and with trust and respect". I could go on about how counterproductive their union avoidance tactics have been, but that would be another article. Instead this is just another example. Bottomline: Union-represented employees did require 60-days notice of layoff.
Partnership Update - October 11, 2001
SPEEA Staff member Kurt Hanson reported on the recent Partnership activities related to layoff mitigation. On September 18th, the Company announced a planned 30% employment reduction in BCA by year-end 2002. SPEEA immediately began gathering mitigation ideas from the membership. An emergency Partnership Meeting was held September 24th, and the "joint mitigation team" was established. That group held its first meeting on September 26th where SPEEA shared its mitigation ideas. First reduce the number of layoffs by using shorter work weeks, job-sharing, retirement incentive, voluntary layoff with severance benefits, posting contractor jobs, industry loan and assistance, bringing back outsourced work and discontinuing outsourcing. Second, reduce the impact of layoffs on employees by deferring the initial layoffs past the holidays and establishing a minimum layoff severance.
At Alan Mulally's BCA Leadership Team meeting on September 28th, many of the ideas were discussed by Company executives. On October 1st, at the joint mitigation team meeting and again later at the Partnership meeting, Company representatives reported that the Company felt their current layoff mitigation program was sufficient.
On October 4th, SPEEA met in the morning with the joint mitigation team and then later that afternoon with the Partnership group. SPEEA strongly advocated that the December 14th layoffs be deferred past the holidays, and that subcontracted work and contractors be reduced as much as practicable.
When it became clear that Boeing was committed to a substantial number of layoffs on December 14, SPEEA's next step was to set up the KCLA/SPEEA Cares fund. It will will collect donations to be distributed to SPEEA-represented employees who are laid off before the holidays.
Tellers revise "districting" for some Council positions
At their meetings on September 13 and October 10, SPEEA's Tellers Committee met to review current populations by district. The original districting took place last February, prior to the February 28th earthquake which destroyed the 10-85 Building in Renton - and prior to some major shifts in populations among our members (most notably to the Bomarc Building in Everett and to buildings in Issaquah). The following changes to districting were made by the Tellers Committee effective 10/16/01:
ISSAQUAH - District B-20 (Profs & Techs in 7-172 Building in Issaquah) - current population is 289. The Tellers ADDED ONE POSITION (now vacant)
DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER - District D-1 (Profs, 9-90, 9-96 & 9-98 Buildings) - current population is 351. Had three positions but only one was filled. Tellers REMOVED TWO POSITIONS (i.e., no remaining vacancies).
The number of added positions equals the number of deleted positions, so there is no impact on the total number of positions.
Instructions for filling these "vacant" positions
All these vacant positions (B-20, E-14 & E-40) are now open for nomination and election. If you have been a member for at least one year, reside in a "vacant" position, and are interested in fulfilling the duties of SPEEA Council Representative for your district - please contact Terry Hall for instructions (206/433-0995, x130 or email email@example.com). In order to be considered valid, your petition must be received at SPEEA Headquarters NO LATER THAN NOON the day before the next Council meeting. [The next Regional Council meeting is on November 8th.] The Tellers will review petitions. If qualified candidate(s) are unopposed, they will be seated on that day. If there is more than one valid petition for a vacancy, ballots will then be mailed to members in that district. Please include a 100-word statement with your petition, so it can accompany any ballot necessitated by a contested district.
Other "Vacant" Districts
Below is a list of the five remaining "vacant" SPEEA Council positions. If you are located in one of these districts, and wish to apply for the vacancy, please refer to the instructions above:
Member needs your help
A WTPU member who has been given a WARN notice also has a daughter who has acute lymphatic leukemia with a chromosome disorder. She is going to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle for a bone marrow transplant on November 16th. To treat the leukemia, she must first go through extensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The doctors must kill off all the existing bone marrow and replace it with donor bone marrow. To complicate things more, she has a liver disorder that makes the operation that much more dangerous.
A fund has been set up for donations to help defray the expenses due to this expensive procedure. The Aimee Dorsett Fund is set up at the Wichita Municipal Federal Credit Union, 3730 W 13th ST, Wichita, Kansas 67203.
"I am not one to ask for help, I would rather help others. However, under these circumstances, I am grateful for any help. Thank you and everyone for their help and concern. Prayers are requested." /s/ JIM DORSETT
Attrition and hiring Report - September 2001
SPEEA has tracked attrition and hiring over the last few years (http://www.speea.org/hotissues/files/ attrition/attrition_toc.html). This report is the first to include the new Wichita Technical & Professional bargaining unit (WTPU).
Table 1 shows average new hire salaries for the two Wichita and two Puget Sound bargaining units for the period March 1 through September 30, 2001. WTPU includes paycode 2 and paycode 6 employees. Total hiring in the four units was just under 1000 people.
SUMMARY: Most new hires are young, meaning relatively little "field hiring" of experienced people. The entry-level salary range is very narrow. Wichita entry-level salaries are generally below the Puget Sound level. Commercial division salary ranges are below SCAMP+SSG, with considerable individual variation.
SPEEA Council Meeting - October 11, 2001
The following newly-seated Council Reps were introduced:
D-4 Brian Carey (Techs, Customer Service Center, Duwamish)
D-4 Mike Gardner (Techs, Customer Service Center, Duwamish)
E-1 Timothy Phan (Profs, Everett, 40-82, 40-85 & 40-86 Buildings)
R-13 George Blomberg (Profs, Renton, 4-20, 4-21, 4-63, 4-64, 4-76, 4-404, 5-02 Buildings)
Four members submitted petitions for two vacancies in District D-3 (Profs, Customer Service Center, Duwamish). Ballots will be mailed to members in that district, and counted on October 24th.
The Council PASSED a motion to delay election of a Judicial Review Committee member until the Ombudsman Committee can complete its investigation.
The Council PASSED a motion outlining the process for publishing recorded ballots.
The Council PASSED a motion to approve the following five questions for Executive Board candidates in the March 2002 election:
1) Why are you running for the Executive Board?
2) What do you perceive to be SPEEA's primary challenges? What are your solutions?
3) What preparations do you think should be made for contract negotiations?
4) What do you perceive to be the keys for improving SPEEA? How would you address these issues, if elected?
5) What should be SPEEA's long-range and short-range goals?
The Council PASSED a motion recommended by the Legislative & Public Affairs Committee that SPEEA support regulations or legislation for those aerospace workers, who qualify and are facing layoff or early retirement due to the WTC (World Trade Center) and Pentagon attacks, be given preference in the selection and training for Federal Sky Marshall and other security-related jobs.
SPEEA members were encouraged to contact their legislators asking them to support legislation covering training and other funding for laid-off workers, following the tragic September 11th events.
Executive Director Charles Bofferding reported SPEEA has been interviewing candidates for Comptroller, since Jimmie Bergeron has announced she will be retiring the end of this year ... SPEEA believes the Company has a standing policy to provide 60-days notice of layoff to represented workers ... because the Company has refused to accept any of SPEEA's suggestions for mitigating the impact of layoffs, SPEEA has established its own KCLA/SPEEA Cares Fund to help laid-off SPEEA-represented employees get paid through the January 1st holiday ... the Company has committed to posting contractor jobs in an effort to replace them with direct employees; some retraining may be required ... the Company has also agreed to re-examine bringing back work that has been outsourced for "capacity" reasons ... SPEEA members are encouraged to attend the Excellence Hour being hosted by Jerry Calhoun in Renton Oct. 16, where he'll talk about BCA's People Strategy.
President Craig Buckham reported our joint mitigation talks with the Company were very frustrating; SPEEA raised a number of good ideas that would make it easier on employees and make the Company a stronger entity after three years - but they were all rejected ... he reminded Council Reps they have a responsibility to step up and take care of the needs of the members (that's why they have "protection").
Council Treasurer Hoyt Hillman reported SPEEA's treasurers have been monitoring the budget, with the realization significant changes in membership will occur in the coming year ... Union dues for 2002 could go up due to lay off of lower-salaried workers ... the Treasurers are soliciting input as they prepare the proposed budgets for next fiscal year.
Staff member Kurt Hanson gave the Partnership update. The main thrust of the Partnership efforts has been to review the suggestions being raised in the Joint Mitigation committee. So far, response to SPEEA's suggestions has been virtually all negative (see above).
Staff member Rich Plunkett gave the Workforce update. He talked about the layoff process, the protections afforded SPEEA leaders, and the Council Rep's role in the workplace during these times of downsizing. Council Reps have a crucial role, assisting members, and remaining vigilant to contract violations. Union Counselor Training is being provided to prepare them for these tasks (see related article).
Chairman Alton Folks reported on the activities of the Leadership Development & Training Committee. The committee assures that SPEEA leaders keep up with required training ... is working with the Executive Board to fund Robin Ryan seminars ... and is planning a "guest night" where Council Reps can bring potential leaders from their area to attend a Council meeting.
Following the business meeting, Hank Queen (VP, Commercial Engineering & Product Integrity) was the keynote speaker (watch next week's newsletter for an article on his presentation).
Robin Ryan Seminars
Everything you need to know to find your next job
SPEEA's Executive Board has agreed to fund another series of Robin Ryan seminars for the many SPEEA employees who may be forced to find other employment in the coming months. These will fill fast, so sign up today!
Robin Ryan is America's leading career coach and best-selling author. She is one of the nation's foremost authorities on what it takes to get a job in today's market. Don't miss this opportunity to hear her as she discusses proven job search strategies that will aid you to move on to a better job.
85% of all jobs are never advertised! You'll hear the results of her employer survey and learn EXACTLY what employers want on your resume and cover letter. She'll share her proven interview techniques and the formula for successful salary negotiations. Attend one or both parts:
PART 1 - Covers Job Search Strategies, the Hidden Job Market, Resume & Cover Letters, plus an Action Plan for You
PART 2 - Covers Interviewing & Salary Negotiations
HOW TO REGISTER - Space is available, first-come, first-serve - at NO CHARGE to SPEEA members. To register, call the number listed above. Check-in begins one hour prior to each session.
Robin has appeared on over 600 TV and radio programs, and has been featured in many widely-known magazines. A popular national speaker, she has taught over 1200 seminars and keynote programs. She is also a best selling author.
Robin Ryan's books (60 Seconds & You're Hired! ... 24 Hours to Your Next Job, Raise or Promotion ... Winning Resumes ... and Winning Cover Letters) are available to SPEEA members at a discount. Call our office for details. You can also check out Robin's web site at http://www.robinryan.com
"Mini-Union Counselor Training Class"
The labor liaisons for our local United Ways have offered to give SPEEA leaders a "crash course" of their Union Counselor Training Class. With the imminent layoffs, any extra help we can give in the workplace will prove valuable.
The courses will cover such things as:
We have scheduled two sessions (NOTE: the North-end session is geared toward Snohomish County resources; and the South-end session is geared toward King and Pierce County resources):
We encourage SPEEA leaders to participate, but any SPEEA member who would like to serve as a "Union Counselor" during these times of layoff is also asked to attend.
TO REGISTER: Sign up and reserve your spot by calling the appropriate phone number listed above.
VIP/FSP Savings Plan web improved
The Boeing VIP/FSP Savings Plan web site (http://boeing.ris.ssga.com) now offers more features. Among the improvements:
The site's Summary section provides your 180-day transaction history and loan payoff amount, as well as your home address on file and designated beneficiary. The Plan Information section features fund fact sheets. The Fund Performance page contains current unit values, prior-year fund performance, and the current Stable Value fund rate. The Education and Planning resource center provides newsletters and audio/video information on personal finance and retirement planning. You may also activate and de-activate web access, or request a PIN reminder.
If you haven't visited the site recently, explore the enhanced Boeing VIP/FSP Savings Plan website.
SPEEA Cares fund off to a good start
Longtime member Gene Blackman (now retired) wasted no time turning in his donation to the KCLA/ SPEEA Cares fund to aid laid-off workers.
The fund was launched last week to help the 598 SPEEA-represented employees who will be laid off on December 14th. The fund will be used to provide monetary gifts in lieu of pay to make up for lost wages and holidays between December 14th and January 1st.
"This fund is very necessary and I wanted to do my part to help," Blackman said. "A lot of the people who will be laid off now are lower-level and new employees. They aren't high paid and haven't had the time to establish a cushion. They are going to need help."
SPEEA suggests members donate $100 each to the fund. Funds will be distributed to all laid-off workers in a SPEEA bargaining unit. Early estimates place the amount of needed money at about $1 million.
"It's a high goal, but it's the right goal," said Charles Bofferding, executive director.
The King County Labor Agency, a non-profit service arm of the King County Labor Council, is assisting with collecting and processing the donations. The fund is being established as a 501(c)3 non-profit charity. The Union is leaving the door open to receiving matching funds from Boeing.
Donations to the SPEEA Cares fund can be made by anyone. To make a donation, send a check payable to the "KCLA/SPEEA Cares fund" to: KCLA/SPEEA Cares Fund, 2800 First Avenue, Room 126, Seattle, WA 98121.