October 5, 2001 Newsletter #1852
The newly-formed Joint Mitigation Committee, with representatives from The Boeing Company and SPEEA, held its first official meeting Wednesday, September 26th, to discuss options for limiting the number of layoffs and easing the impact on affected employees.
SPEEA representatives presented the Company with a prioritized list of actions. The actions were separated into categories: 1) Reducing the number of layoffs; 2) Mitigating the effect of layoffs; 3) Long term actions, and 4) Other suggestions.
Company representatives were receptive to carrying the issues back to Boeing executives for discussion and consideration. The committee planned to meet again on Monday, October 1st before giving their first report to the full Boeing-SPEEA Partnership Committee late in the afternoon.
The Company did admit that layoffs could not be done in a straight-across-the-board fashion. They said some areas/skills would be impacted harder than others.
Lively discussion evolved around several key issues, including outsourcing, early retirement incentives, and having the first employees laid off on December 14th, one week before the Christmas holiday.
Following is a partial list of the issues discussed at the meeting and the Company's initial response:
While the above list is not complete, participants agreed the session was a good start at determining actions to limit the number of layoffs and mitigating the impacts on SPEEA-represented employees.
ECF donation total continues to climb
In the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, individual Boeing employees have voluntarily donated more than $877,000 for disaster relief through the Employees Community Fund. Total Company and employee contributions for disaster relief are now at $6,322,211. ECF boards across the country have approved grants to the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the United Way. The Company matches employee donations for ECF disaster relief dollar-for-dollar.
To make your contribution, and receive the Company-match donation, check out the following website:
the Executive Director
Challenges are opportunities. They are opportunities to demonstrate your principles and your priorities. This is a hard column to write. Boeing is facing significant challenges, and frankly I am not too impressed with the reactions I've seen so far.
Boeing announced that, due to industry downturns, they would need to reduce Boeing Commercial Airplanes headcount by 30% over the next 18 months. The plan is to get 10% out thedoor ASAP (with December 14th as a possible date). In the September 25th Wall Street Journal article titled "Boeing will Retain its Profitability Despite Revenue Drop, Condit Says", Phil Condit is quoted "...we can hold our profit levels." [FYI: Boeing net earnings in 2000 were $2.1 Billion. The Boeing website lists 2001 earnings through June 30 as $2.077 Billion (a 100% increase over the $1.038 Billion for the same period last year).]
The issue is not "will Boeing go out of business" - it is "who will bear the pain."
The short version of the story is that we formed a joint layoff mitigation team and every one of our suggestions was rejected. This included reduced hours, voluntary layoff with benefits, retirement incentives, bringing back outsourced work and a host of other ideas. The acceptance criteria Boeing used were: 1) did it cost any money, and 2) was there any potential to adversely impact skill mix.
I consider this a challenge for SPEEA. Our response: we refuse to accept NO for an answer. We will take another run at developing and promoting plans that move us forward. Plans that honor employees and treat them as part of the solution and not the problem. We refuse to give up on Boeing or its people. We believe that employees are the engine that moves a company forward and must be treated with respect. We will push for a better balancing of Boeing shareholder and Boeing employee interests. Our plan is for Boeing to move forward in the future. We believe that careful consideration must be given to how people are treated now and to the fact that even those not directly affected will witness how their co-workers were treated. Messages are being sent to Boeing's workforce about top management's real commitment and priorities.
The messages being sent today aren't helping anyone. Not even shareholders.
Look at the Stock price chart for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Boeing (BA) and Southwest Airlines (LUV). Note that all took a significant hit after the markets opened on Sept 17th. Southwest CEO James F. Parker is quoted in Business Week "We are willing to suffer some damage, even to our stock price, to protect the jobs of our people." Boeing announced that they would hold profits and cut people. Certainly there were other factors, but the stock for Southwest stabilized while Boeing continued to drop. My guess is that employee morale at both companies had similar movements that will impact long-term prospects for both companies. This may not show up on the short-term balance sheet, but is important to our long-term health.
Certainly we are facing severe challenges and we need to take action. However, actions and the order in which they are taken tell employees how they are valued and where they stand in the priority list. For SPEEA, employees are our TOP priority and we are pushing as hard as we can to get employee perspective into the processes that are affecting us now.
What happens now will affect us all for decades to come. The way SPEEA and Boeing interact to address these challenges will set the tone for labor-relations for decades. The message sent to employees can range from "You are a valued part of the team" to "You are a cost to be cut when cash is short".
How we react to these challenges will demonstrate our principles and priorities. Let's make them ones that can move us all forward - both today and tomorrow.
Board member Jerry Robinson visits sister IFPTE Local 28 (NASA)
While on vacation recently, SPEEA Executive Board member Jerry Robinson visited IFPTE Local 28 in Cleveland, Ohio - NASA Lewis Engineers & Scientists Association (LESA). LESA represents about 1400 government employees working at the NASA John Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field. One of their bargaining units contains engineers and scientists, while the other contains professional and office administrative employees (similar to SPEEA's units in Wichita).
While there, Jerry was given a tour of the icing research tunnel (IRT) by LESA VP Dr. Sheila Bailey. This is the largest icing wind-tunnel in the world.
LESA President Virginia Cantwell tells us, "Jerry is a great ambassador! We hit if off right off the bat and felt as if we knew him for years! We shared lots of current info and war stories, and found that we have lots in common."
Jerry said Local 28 followed SPEEA's strike in 2000 and was encouraged by our resolve, since they share a common need for 'respect' from their management. They face similar challenges, such as outsourcing of work to contract labor, and loss of experienced personnel due to disillusionment and lack of vision. They also experience the impact of competition for funding sources from other NASA centers. They hope to see each Center have its own funding source and fit into a large grand national research initiative, which would provide a focus and sense of research significance ("like it was during the 1970's").
[IFPTE also has locals representing NASA workers in Ames, CA; Marshall, AL; and Goddard, MD. Jerry visited the Goddard Center in May, and met with Local 29 President Dr. Wahid.]
Jerry said, "These visits help forge a greater bond between SPEEA and other locals within IFPTE, which can serve both parties in the future as we learn from each other. It's a great way to exchange information about our locals, and discover common reasons for forming unions for professional engineering/scientific employees."
Local 28 President Virginia Cantwell welcomes visits from other brothers and sisters from IFPTE locals, to take a grand tour of their unique NASA facility in Cleveland. [If you will be in the area, you can email her at email@example.com]
Members running for political office
The following SPEEA members have announced they are running for office in the upcoming General Election on November 6th:
David Simpson (incumbent) - Everett City Council, Position 2
Tim Bond -
Marysville City Council, Position 2
We are saddened to learn of the passing of SPEEA member Jeffrey Michael Axtman, 49, on August 22, 2001 in a fatal automobile accident.
Jeff is survived by his fiancée, Diana Hollenbeck; daughter, Kylee; son, Cory; granddaughter, Tia Apple; mother, Hildegard Axtman; and other relatives.
Jeff was born in Rugby, North Dakota on August 10, 1952. He enjoyed sports, restoring cars, camping & traveling. He worked for The Boeing Company and McDonnell-Douglas for over 25 years, most recently in the Coordinate Measurement Lab (CML) in the 40-33 Building in Everett. He was a metrologist for approximately 8 years and was the main contact for all measurements done for the 767 and 747 Airplane Programs. His knowledge and measurement expertise will be greatly missed.
William Henry Baujan, 43, of Gig Harbor passed away on September 18, 2001 at the Seattle Veterans Hospital as a result of cancer. Bill was born in Stroudsburg, PA. He was a veteran serving with the US army as a helicopter crew chief in Fairbanks, Alaska. He hired on with Boeing in 1989. He worked as a planner in Renton, and coworkers thought highly of him. He loved riding motorcycles and enjoyed boating. He is survived by his wife Cathy, daughter Candice, brother John, four-legged companions Chamois and Mugsy, and other extended family and friends from all over the country. Contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society in his memory.
Scott Columbia, 44, was one of 15 Seattle-area residents who died in the crash of a sightseeing plane on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula September 12th while on a Caribbean cruise with other husky alumni. He hired on with Boeing in 1979 as a SPEEA Tech. He earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering and was transferred to the engineering payroll in 1988. In 1996, he was transferred into the management payroll most recently working in Everett. When he wasn't watching the Huskies, Scott enjoyed golfing with his family and going to movies with his wife Debbie.
SPEEA Secretary Jerry Robinson says he knew Scott since 1985, when he was in our Tech Unit and going to school to get his degree. He was a very diligent, warm and humorous person. Jerry watched as Scott was promoted into management. Jerry says he will miss him, and expresses his condolences to Scott's wife Debbie and family.
Another casualty of that Husky cruise sightseeing plane crash was SPEEA member Lisa Styer. Lisa, 36, graduated as salutorian from Holy Names Academy in 1982, and received her Civil Engineering degree from UW in 1987. Following in her father's footsteps, she hired on with Boeing that same year (her two brothers also work for Boeing). Most recently, she worked in the Customer Engineering group in Renton. Her coworkers remember her as "always professional, hardworking and upbeat. She had a wry sense of humor and a calm presence that made her a joy to work with." Lisa was very active, gregarious and outgoing. She loved to travel, enjoyed music, art, Orcas Island, the Huskies and the Mariners. Her family and friends will dearly miss her.
We are saddened to learn of the passing of SPEEA member Gerald Paynter, 62, on September 8, 2001 following a four-year battle with multiple myeloma. He died peacefully, surrounded by family.
Jerry was born in Hanover, IL and moved with his parents to Bainbridge Island in 1945. He earned a bachelor's degree in Engineering in 1960 and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 1965, both from the University of Washington. He worked in the field of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for Boeing for over 35 years, and was named a Technical Fellow in recognition of his research.
Jerry enjoyed mountain and rock climbing. He spent many happy times with his wife and two sons as a family, camping, hiking and skiing. He will be greatly missed.
Those wishing to send a remembrance may consider a contribution to Childhaven, 1035 SW 124th, Seattle, WA 98146.
Dan Hartley & wife recipients of "Award for Volunteer Excellence"
Dan & Marian Hartley are the recipients of the King County International Airport/Boeing Field's 2001 Award for Volunteer Excellence. Avid recreational pilots, the Hartleys were recognized for their commitment to the Airport and General Aviation, and their demonstrated leadership in the local aviation community.
Dan, past president of SPEEA, was recognized for his participation in the Airport Roundtable and Part 150 Study Advisory committees. He was also credited with invaluable help to restore the Airport to full operation following the devastating February 28th Nisqually earthquake. In presenting the award, Airport Manager Cynthia Stewart said, "Your many years of support for this airport and recognition of the economic importance to the community and state are unparalleled".
Marian was honored for her role as president of the local Chapter of the 99's and her many hours providing first airplane flights through the EAA Young Eagles Program and at the King County Airport's annual Aviation Olympiad for local students. Airport Manager Stewart acknowledged Marian's efforts with, "Your commitment to connecting kids with aviation has encouraged many young people, especially girls, to consider becoming pilots."
This annual award was developed in 1999 to recognize individuals who improve the quality of life and work at King County International Airport/Boeing Field through their volunteer efforts. Former award honorees have been Tom Susor and Jim Combs.
Team honored for invention
Four Boeing employees who are helping to save $20 million a year with an information-sharing process that resolves technical issues among the airlines have received the company's 2001 Exceptional Invention Award. Christopher Gribskov, Walter Hein, Neil Smith and Bradley Taylor of Boeing Commercial Airplanes invented the Fleet Team Resolution Process, which utilizes an electronic bulletin board and an industry-management team to resolve aircraft fleet problems. The system is now being considered for military use. The team members received their award at a recent luncheon hosted by Chief Technology Officer Dave Swain and BCA President and CEO Alan Mulally.
SEMINARS & EVENTS
"Nothing Will Ever Be The Same"
Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Management Advisor and Vice President, Peter V. Kline of Merrill Lynch, along with his wealth management team will present:
How the world has changed...
11th OR October 18th
All Boeing Employees and their guests are invited. Please RSVP to Stephanie Schnieder, Investment Associate, at 1-888-215-4214 (toll-free) or firstname.lastname@example.org - OR to Jamie Taylor, Client Associate at (425) 462-8131.
"What Should I do with my 401(K)?"
Patrick Adamek, financial advisor with Merrill Lynch is hosting these series of seminars covering "What Should I Do with my 401(k)?"
Although most Americans consider retirement their primary reason for savings, few actually save enough to meet their goal. In fact, falling short of your retirement savings goal may mean having to reduce your standard of living - or even postpone your retirement. Given the uncertainty with our current market environment, this seminar will discuss comprehensive strategies for how to most effectively provide for your family's financial security in the years to come. In addition, this seminar will also discuss how to take advantage of the new revisions in the tax law.
To register, choose the seminar you'd like to attend and then contact Erin Willet at (425) 468-1205 or 1-800-876-0503 (Directions will be provided upon request).
Financial Planning Questions?
Tony Nakata is a financial consultant with A.G. Edwards. In 1994, he donated his time to Boeing employees who were laid off and he says he feels compelled to offer his services again. (His father is a retired Boeing engineer and proud long-time SPEEA member.)
Tony is available to help individuals or groups with questions about IRA Rollovers, Pension Plans, Early Retirement or anything else that concerns you. You can contact him at (206) 622-4451.
Free Retirement Planning Lunch Seminars
Retiring? Do you know what to do with your pension and VIP/FSP distribution?
Kevin Cahoon, Associate Vice President, Retirement Planning Specialist, and Andrew Hergert, Financial Advisor, of Morgan Stanley will be presenting these free seminars for people about to retire that are 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 for all attendees. To reserve your space and request a box lunch, call Andrew Hergert at (206)224-4203 or 1-800-733-4873.
Paul Merriman hosts retirement seminars
Paul Merriman, described by CBS MarketWatch as "one of America's top financial advisors," will present a series of free evening workshops in the Seattle area in October.
"The Best Retirement Portfolio I Know" is designed for retirees and pre-retirees seeking the best combination of safety, income and growth during good times and bad times. Merriman will outline how to handle investment risks and how to crash-proof a portfolio.
He'll also present suggested model portfolios using no-load mutual funds offered by Schwab, Fidelity and Vanguard and other portfolios made up of options available in the Boeing retirement plan.
Each workshop is scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Dates and locations are:
Each workshop is free, and there is no obligation. Advance registration is required by calling 1-800-423-4893. Or register online at www.FundAdvice.com.
Paul Merriman is founder and president of Merriman Capital Management in Seattle, which manages more than $275 million for individuals, retirement plans and other investors. He is publisher and editor of FundAdvice.com, a monthly newsletter that has won numerous national awards, and is author of two books on investing. He is also co-portfolio manager of the Merriman Mutual Funds.
Watch for Updated SPEEA Discount List
In the October SPOTLITE, you'll find the updated SPEEA Discount List. This list includes a variety of discounts for SPEEA members. Some of the more popular discounts include: Insurance (Auto, Homeowners, Long-Term Care, Life & AD&D) ... health care (dental, laser eye surgery, hearing aids, personal emergency monitoring systems, health club, podiatry and chiropractic) ... auto (purchase of new/used, leasing, tires, repair) ... publications (self-help books and magazines, including Aviation Week & PC World) ... audio/video (phones, wireless service, TV's, stereos) ... and services (legal, financial planning, mortgage, cleaners, travel and storage).
One member, Robert Emerick, purchased Long Term Care Insurance and reports the SPEEA discount amounted to over $630! He added, this more than makes up for his annual dues with SPEEA.
11th Seattle Airline Collectibles Show
The Museum of Flight will host this year's Airline Collectibles Show on
Saturday, October 13, 2001 from 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
If it has an airline logo on it, chances are it will be found at this, one of the largest airline collectibles shows in the nation. China and glassware, models, wings, postcards, timetables and more will be swapped, bought and sold. More than 600 collectors and dealers from across the country are expected to attend, looking for rare finds and vying for popular door prizes like Alaska Airlines tickets.
For more information, call the Seattle Airline Collectibles Show at (425) 485-8780 or email email@example.com. Show admission is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6 to 15. Access to the Museum galleries requires a separate admission, which will be discounted $2 for show attendees.
AWC October event
Defending Your Pitch: Credibility Techniques Your Career Depends On
More than ever, in this budget-constrained environment, proposals, project enhancements, and new ideas are carefully scrutinized by managers and peers searching for the best financial value. Getting your ideas recognized and accepted depends heavily on your ability to persuasively present and credibly defend your position. Under the pressure of examination, your greatest career assets are your ability to be convincing yet believable.
Plan to attend this October event of Association for Women in Computing, Puget Sound Chapter.
With lecture, interactive exercises and discussion, Constance Miller will draw from her extensive litigation/consulting background, to demonstrate techniques that reinforce credible delivery and that are extremely useful in confrontive situations. Learn new techniques for credible, persuasive delivery ... Learn how to support your arguments in a competitive environment ... Learn how to remain confident when your ideas are under scrutiny. Ms. Miller helps professionals present themselves effectively, authentically, and memorably in meetings, seminars, and the courtroom.
Tuesday, October 16, 2001
Dinner: 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Cost is $20 for AWC members; $35 for non-members (dinner and program). For program only, member cost is $10; non-member cost is $20.
Registration Deadline: By check, payment must be received at P.O. Box by Thursday, October 11, 2001. By credit card, payment must be confirmed by Monday, October 15th. Register online at http://www.awcps.org/register.htm or leave voicemail at (206) 781-7315. Then send your check to the address below by the due date noted above to: AWC/PS, P.O. Box 179, Seattle, WA 98111. Credit card transactions are also possible through PayPal.