Home Contact News Organizing General info Negotiations Northwest Midwest Archive
Special Pubs
Political Action

May 10, 2002 Newsletter #1880


ESA Report
Everett assembly continues to gain momentum

Joint Workforce Committee transition

Notes from the Executive Director
Adding abundance

A Tribute to our fallen Brothers and Sisters

Boeing Shareholders meeting

Retiring or changing employment?

Workforce Report
Layoffs continue - Vigilance does too!

6ASE-636 Contractors - Update

Today's Careers Employment Expo 2002

Boeing ECF works for everyone!

Jobs with Justice invites you to the
Paul Robeson Peace Arch Memorial Concert


ESA Report
Everett assembly continues to gain momentum

The Everett Site Assembly (ESA) continues to develop as a team. Though our numbers have not increased significantly, we anticipate more participation in coming months. Obviously, the upcoming negotiations this fall will pique the interest of our membership, but we also believe that several of the activities sponsored by the ESA will bring in more participants.

ESA Chair Dale Shifflett recently announced that the Everett Roundtable would resume meetings with the Company next month. The Everett Roundtable is composed of Council Reps and Company leaders at the Everett Site. The primary purpose of the roundtable is to address issues of mutual concern in the workplace.

The ESA provides input to the Everett Roundtable "3 x 3" Subcommittee (a 3-person team that meets with Company reps to set the agenda for full sessions of the roundtable). Chairman Shifflett, Council Rep Sharon Marrell, and SPEEA Council Chair Pat Waters currently serve on the 3 x 3 Subcommittee.

The regular attendees of the ESA (which is open to all SPEEA-represented employees) asked that guidelines be developed for the purpose of clarifying how the assembly will operate. The goal is to have sufficient guidance without creating a structure that is too formalized.

The ESA is also considering several community involvement projects as well as planning activities to help SPEEA members in general.

We would like to acknowledge the following people who have been regular attendees to the ESA during the past year: Ian Burrows, Steve Conrad, Wayne Doucette, Jennifer Erickson, Chris Glenn, Barb Hover, Joe Lake, Bruce Liomin, Jerry Lorey, John Lynn, Brent McFarlane, Craig McKelvy, Keith Neal, Dave Patzwald, Roger Pullman, Jim Roberts, Jayme Schmidt, Kurt Schuetz, Dale Shifflett, Bill Sutton, Kevin Wescott, Warren Williamson and Mark Worden.

Employees at the Everett Site are encouraged to attend the monthly meetings held at 4:30 p.m. on the Monday evening prior to the Council Meeting. Please RSVP to the Everett Office at (425) 355-2883 no later than noon on the day of the meeting. [MM]

Back to Contents

Joint Workforce Committee transition
By Mark Moshay, Staff Workforce Focal

The Joint Workforce Committee made a transition last month as the 2002 Workforce Negotiation Team came on board. We would like to thank JWC members Phil Richmond, Harrison Henninger, and Rick Williamson for their dedication during their tenure on the committee.

We would like to welcome the 2002 Workforce Negotiation Team members who will be "taking the reins" of the JWC as we begin working on issues for our next contract. Chris Glenn and Alan Rice will be representing the Technical Unit. Tom McCarty and Ted Nykreim will be representing the Professional Unit. Alan and Tom, who were formerly JWC members, help to make a smooth transition. These four individuals, along with the support of several staff members will be representing a unified SPEEA in the remaining JWC meetings and during contract negotiations.

Welcome Aboard!

Back to Contents

Notes from the Executive Director
Adding abundance

SPEEA is a powerful Union doing great things. However, in the big picture we are only playing a part in a much larger process.

Just last week SPEEA leaders teamed with CESO* member union leaders from around the country in Washington DC to lobby for issues important to all of us. Joined with others from unions representing people in the U.S. industrial workforce, we used our influence to meet with both NASA's Chief Administrator Sean O'Keefe and U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Impressive indeed but when you are in DC you get a sense of things much bigger than yourself, your industry and even your larger coalitions. You also develop a tremendous sense of how connected we all are to each other.

In DC the museums and monuments are both fantastic and free. The FDR memorial is one of my favorites. It is understated but moving and has a sprinkling of inspirational quotes throughout. One that is on point to what I want to address today is

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

Of course my topic is the annual two-week ECF drive that we are now in the middle of.

The Employee Community Fund annual drive for donations started at Boeing on Monday, May 6, and continues through May 17th. As a strong supporter of this fund, SPEEA encourages members to participate.

We should use this yearly opportunity to pass the test FDR puts before us. We should use this time to help provide more for those who have too little. Ironically, often the people who "have too little" are people that previously were among the contributors to the ECF fund. None of us are either immune from possibly needing the help ECF can provide, nor free from a responsibility to give support to the fund appropriate with our ability to do so.

I would also like to remind you that the SPEEA Cares Fund is available for ECF donations. Boeing employees can designate their ECF donations to the SPEEA fund which assists SPEEA members in times of emergency or during a labor dispute with Boeing. This fund is called the King County Labor Agency AFL-CIO - SPEEA Fund, ECF # 50461.

SPEEA is a powerful union because our members have learned that, with solidarity, we can accomplish any goal. During the two weeks of the yearly ECF drive, let's all do our part to increase the abundance of those that have too little. Together we can.


* CESO is the Council of Engineers & Scientists Organizations, a group of labor organizations representing engineering, technical and professional employees across the country.

Back to Contents

A Tribute to our fallen Brothers and Sisters

On Monday, April 29th, the Snohomish County Labor Council organized the annual Worker's Memorial ceremony. This year had special significance because, along with honoring the 123 workers who died on the job in Washington last year, a tribute was made for the more than 3,000 working men and women who were killed in the September 11th terror attacks.

Speakers called on the 70-some people in attendance to honor the sacrifices of those who died, and to renew their commitment to helping the living. "American liberties", County Executive Bob Drewel said, "are won on the battlefield and in the shingle mill."

The services were held on the 1st anniversary of the newly commemorated Worker's Memorial monument, just to the west of the Snohomish County Courthouse. Organized labor was instrumental throughout the previous year soliciting contributions and support to erect this statue created by a retired Boeing employee/IAM member.

Even though you might have missed this activity, take the opportunity to visit the Memorial and see the bricks denoting the generous sponsors of this inspiring piece of art.

Back to Contents

Boeing Shareholders meeting

Boeing held its Annual Shareholders Meeting on Monday, April 29 in Chicago. The SPEEA NW Council recommended support for Shareholder proposals dealing with executive compensation, "golden parachutes," and pension improvements. The Council also supported several proposals on corporate governance.

Retiree Don Shuper, a member of SPEEA's Legislative & Public Affairs Committee, submitted a proposal on pension improvements. Dave Watt, President of the Engineering Retirees Society (ERS), submitted a proposal to pay executives solely in stock. An IAM Business Rep submitted a proposal linking executive compensation to human capital as measured by training, morale and safety. SPEEA Staff member Stan Sorscher spoke to shareholders in support of proposals on human capital and retirement (see statements below).

SPEEA representatives have attended annual shareholder meetings since 1998. Our message each year has promoted an appropriate balance between shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers and the public.

Statement in support of item #5
(Linking Executive compensation to human capital)

Thank you Mr. Chairman

My name is Stan Sorscher. I am with the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, representing Boeing engineers and technicians in seven states. I speak in support of the shareholder proposal to link executive compensation to human capital.

At the Boeing Annual meeting in 1998, the executive bonus formula shifted strongly toward stock performance. At that time, we spoke for an appropriate balance of interests among key stakeholders - customers, suppliers, shareholders, employees and the public. We argued that executive bonuses should recognize short-term performance, but the formula must provide balance to protect the long-term interests of customers, employees and the public.

A recent Boeing Annual Report made my point quite eloquently: "A company, any company, is nothing more or less than the people who make it up."

Last year, GE's annual report made that point even more powerfully. Paraphrasing from the GE annual report: "Our true 'core competency' today is not manufacturing or services, but ... recruiting and nurturing of the world's best people and the cultivation in them of an insatiable desire to learn, to stretch and to do things better every day. By finding, challenging and rewarding these people,... by giving them all the resources they need - and by simply getting out of their way - we have seen them make us better and better every year."

At last years' meeting we warned that Boeing's human infrastructure was eroding quickly, putting our future competitiveness at great risk. The average age of hourly and salaried workers is in the mid-40's. For a variety of reasons, we have failed to attract and retain young employees. When we deliver the first Sonic Cruiser, the bulk of our current technical and manufacturing populations will be eligible for retirement. The competitive advantage held in their accumulated knowledge and experience will be lost unless we invest now in human capital.

The keys to long-term success are satisfied customers and motivated employees. Employees and aerospace customers both have long-term outlooks. Our products and our careers are active for decades. The executive bonus formula must reflect those long-term perspectives.

Item #5, the proposal to link executive bonuses to human capital, is a practical and appropriate means of balancing stakeholder interests, and I encourage all shareholders to vote in favor of that proposal.

Statement in support of item #13
(Give retirees choice of pension plans)

My name is Stan Sorscher. I speak in favor of item #13.

Top concerns expressed in the workplace are job security and retirement. The Pension Value Plan creates some winners and losers. As a result, employees approaching retirement are rightfully concerned about the PVP. This is particularly true of employees who switch in and out of the PVP, with different work assignments.

This translates into negative trends in terms of morale, attrition, and distraction from our focus, which should be on customers and products.

The terms recommended in the proposal would build trust and confidence. The proposal is reasonable and practical. Adopting this proposal would pay strong dividends at low cost. I urge all shareholders to support the proposal, item number 13.

Retiring or changing employment?

It's time to make an important decision: Take it, Leave it, Move it, or Roll it!

Retirement, a job change or an untimely layoff may have you facing some critical decisions concerning your retirement plan assets. You need to understand your options, because a wrong decision could compromise your future financial security. What are your choices? Should you roll over your money into another retirement account, or take it all now?

This two-hour seminar is offered on two separate days for your convenience, and is hosted by Retirement & Investment Planning Specialists, Jim Clarke and Kelly Wamble of A.G. Edwards & Sons.

Wednesday, May 15th
Wednesday, May 22nd

5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Everett Boeing Activity Center
40-201 Building, Classroom 2

There is no charge; complimentary refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to confirm your attendance by calling Jean or Sue at 1-800-933-2757.

Back to Content

Workforce Report
Layoffs continue - Vigilance does too!

By Mark Moshay, Staff Workforce Focal

The layoffs that began in December continue - that's the bad news! The number of SPEEA-represented employees who have been laid off has been greatly reduced due to the release of contractors.

In September, there were 735 contractors working jobs in the Puget Sound Technical Unit. As of last month, only 73 contractors remained. In essence, 662 SPEEA-represented employees remained on the job instead of being laid off.

The Puget Sound Prof Unit had 1,281 contractors on board in September. The number of contractors on board as of last month was 571 - another 690 jobs saved!

The combined total of SPEEA-represented employees whose jobs were saved in the Puget Sound area is 1,352 as of April 9th.

We recognize that regardless of how many jobs are saved, it's still devastating to those who are laid off. SPEEA continues to monitor the contractor issue. In the case of Puget Sound Profs, there are still a significant number of contractors on board in skill codes that are currently in demand (i.e., not being surplussed).

In addition, the Company has made a number of reassignments in lieu of layoff, reducing the number of SPEEA-represented employees going out the door.

It should be noted that overall there have been very few instances of improper layoffs. To date, SPEEA has filed 15 grievances, most of which have been resolved. Considering the hundreds of layoff actions occurring throughout our bargaining units, we believe that overall the Company is doing a fairly good job of following the contractual processes for layoff.

There's no escaping the fact that layoff is a painful ordeal for those who lose their job. For that reason we will continue to monitor the actions of the employer to ensure that the process is administered fairly.

SPEEA Makes a Difference!

Sources of contractor information:
Contractors currently on board:

Contractors on board in September:


Back to Contents

6ASE-636 Contractors - Update

by Mark Moshay, Staff Workforce Focal

We recently asked for assistance from employees in identifying contractors in the workplace. We received numerous phone calls, email, and personal contacts per that request. Thank you to everyone who responded.

We met with the Company Workforce Representative on Monday, April 29 to address this issue. Nearly all of the 130 contractors were released on or before March 22, when many of our 6ASE-636 designers were laid off. There are a few exceptions, which are allowed per our contracts [Article 9.3(g)]. We have asked for documentation on each exception.

Again, thank you to everyone who helped us in this effort!

SPEEA-Represented employees

Back to Contents

Today's Careers Employment Expo 2002

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Safeco Field
1250 1st Avenue South
Seattle, Washington 98134

Featuring dozens of employers from a
wide variety of industries


For more information, visit
or call (425) 487-9456 • fax (425) 487-9876


or visit'

Back to Contents

Boeing ECF works for everyone!

Representatives from the Boeing Employees Community Fund (ECF) recently invited members of SPEEA leadership and staff to a luncheon at the SPEEA office in Everett. The purpose of this gathering was to ensure that SPEEA was fully apprised of the efforts of the ECF, and to invite SPEEA to participate in ECF activities.

After a brief explanation of what ECF does and an outline of the Agency Awareness Fairs in May, the representatives identified multiple ways that the SPEEA-represented employees could help year round. The most obvious way to help is to fill out the appropriate card and designate either a fixed percentage or a dollar amount to the nearest $5 to be deducted from your paychecks. However, money is not the only method that one can help others within the community. An individual's time and unique skills are assets that are very difficult for the various community services to acquire. The real task is to ensure that our membership is aware of the various needs within our community and to encourage participation wherever possible. (SPEEA will be coordinating with the local ECF representatives in developing methods to disseminate this information.)

After the tragedy of 9/11, a lot of local services suffered as a result of charity being forwarded to the needs back East. However, as we've seen the devastating layoffs within Boeing and other local industries, local services have greater needs than ever before. In anticipation of a continuing slow economy with high unemployment locally, SPEEA hopes to encourage our members' involvement with ECF.

[SPEEA officials also extended a sincere Thanks to the United Way Labor Liaison Bill Borders, who was extremely instrumental in matching services to the many needs of our membership who endured through the SPEEA strike in early 2000. His participation was made possible through the continued support provided by the Boeing ECF.]

  Working Together, SPEEA Can
Make A Difference!

Back to Contents

Jobs with Justice invites you to the Paul Robeson Peace Arch Memorial Concert

Saturday, May 18 - Noon to 5 pm
Peace Arch Park - Blaine, WA Border Crossing

On May 18, 1952, Paul Robeson stood on the back of a flatbed truck and sang songs of defiance and solidarity to 40,000 people at the US-Canadian border. You are invited to join thousands of Canadian and US unionists and families to commemorate the event fifty years after it happened. Actor Danny Glover has confirmed his attendance.

Bus transportation may be available:

(1) Freedom Bus (leaving Seattle) sponsored by Mothers for Police Accountability (contact Lonnie Nelson at 206/324-3879)

(2) A. Philip Randolph Institute Bus (contact Verlene Wilder at 206/441-7102)

Paul Robeson was a gifted musician, artist, athlete, scholar and activist, and was one of the thousands whose career was ruined and legacy tainted by rumor and innuendo at the height of the McCarthy era. Denied permission to leave the U.S. and speak at a union convention in Vancouver, B.C., Robeson instead attended this historic concert organized by the convention's delegates.

For more information, contact Bob Gorman of the WA AFL-CIO at (206) 448-4888 or visit

Back to Contents

Layoffs - Age Discrimination

By Stan Sorscher, SPEEA Staff

We hear from members in many work areas that layoffs are hitting older employees harder this time than in previous layoff cycles. In the November 16, 2001 SPEEA Newsletter, we compared the ages of people laid off in five previous downturns. That article also gave age data for the initial 60-day notices in this round of layoffs.

As of March 22, 2002, approximately 1,300 SPEEA-represented employees have been laid off. Figure 1 shows the number of layoffs in the four large SPEEA bargaining units (Wichita Technical & Professional Unit, Wichita Engineers, Puget Sound Techs, and Puget Sound Profs).

Wichita Engineering (WEU) layoffs are skewed toward the youngest age bands, while the WTPU layoffs are strongly biased toward older employees. Significantly, in every bargaining unit, the bulk of the layoffs are coming among employees with considerable experience - many in the peak productivity years of their careers.

All four units were already depleted in the younger age bands, before the layoffs began. Figure 2 shows how total headcount was distributed in the units, at the end of 2001. Figure 3 presents layoffs as a fraction of the population in each age band. For instance, among Wichita Engineers in the 20-24 age band at the end of last year, about 30% have been laid off. Similarly, almost 20% of the WTPU employees in the 60-64 age band have been laid off.

Figure 4 adjusts for the difference in the sizes of the four bargaining units. This permits better comparison from one bargaining unit to the next. Clearly, the WTPU has been hit hardest in its older age bands, and the Wichita Engineers have been depleted heavily, in proportion, at their younger age bands. Puget Sound Profs have a more even age spread, and although that unit is the largest of the four, it has had the smallest layoff rate in proportion to its size (due in large part to the number of contractors going out the door).

 Click on chart for a larger view

No Disk File

Figure 1. Number of layoffs in four large bargaining units.


No Disk File

Figure 2. Distribution of active employees within the four large
bargaining units (adjusts for different sizes of the four units).


No Disk File

Figure 3. Layoffs in each age band, as a fraction of the number of
employees in that age band (helps compare one age band
to others).


Figure 4. Layoffs in each age band as a fraction of the size of the
bargaining unit (helps compare one unit to another).


Back to Contents

Midwest Region News
Cross-talk with Dan Becker

The following represents the personal interpretation of a recent cross-talk meeting in Wichita on April 29 with Dan Becker, Director of Operations, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group, Wichita Division.

Becker presented the economic outlook for the commercial business and some of the Company's strategies. The airlines are in rough financial position. Airline traffic is recovering, but most airlines are still operating in the red.

The competition with Airbus will take an interesting turn. Airbus plans to sell large airplanes (A380) to carry on airlines' major hub operations. Boeing's position is that airline traffic will turn to point-to-point operations, with a market for longer-range mid-size airplanes. Low-cost airlines like Southwest and Ryan are incorporating a point-to-point strategy already, and are currently doing better financially. Becker expressed the opinion that the commercial business could start to recover next year.

When questioned about outsourcing work, Becker focused more on the political necessity to give other countries some business so we can get a sale, rather than the ability to get parts cheaper somewhere else.

On military programs, the loss of the JSF competition has forced Boeing to pursue different avenues such as cost improvement initiatives for the F/A-18, increased production of JDAM, and the development of new unmanned aircraft. Becker also confirmed plans to carry out 767 tanker modification in Wichita, from a basic 767 built in Seattle.

Becker described how the Space and Communication business did not quite meet Boeing's expectations. After the acquisition of Hughes satellite, the economic downturn reduced commercial satellite orders and delayed communication services, like Connexion. The big accounting cost for "good will" this spring reflects that write-down for satellite business. The economic potential in satellite operation indicates that it should be a strong business for the long term.

Becker closed by saying that for Wichita to save jobs or to grow, it has to compete. Becker knows of no limitations that prevent Boeing-Wichita from bidding on new work outside of Boeing. He also appreciated that Wichita is currently doing the right things to stay competitive.

Back to Contents

Case History
Monitoring job erosion is our responsibility!

In these times of massive layoffs along with the threat of offloading work throughout the world, it is highly understandable that our members are watching in the workplace to ensure that the appropriate employees are accomplishing the work and we minimize job erosion. During the last six months, SPEEA Contract Administrators (CA) have received numerous calls with the similar message, "He (or she) is doing my work!" The routine response follows the basic investigatory approach of "who, what, when, where, and why" and whether or not they've contacted their local Council Rep.

When the concern is ultimately forwarded to the CAs, it typically necessitates a meeting of the Company's Union Relations focal for that area along with the SPEEA representatives and the local management. At that level, the parties try to gain an understanding as to the nature of the work being performed and whose jobcode and unit it typically falls within. This can be an extremely lengthy process given the subjectivity contained within the jobcodes and the varying perceptions of the employees in the workplace.

Within the last six months, the Everett CAs have participated in these types of meetings for Engineering Data Release personnel, Planners in the Decorative Marking Areas, Quality Planning and an issue between the hourly employees and an engineer from the Facilities discipline. We have had some success in reaffirming that a portion of the work should appropriately be done by SPEEA-represented personnel; and in the cases where we weren't successful, we gained further understanding of why it was more appropriate for an employee of a different unit to do the work. This enables us to communicate effectively back to the concerned employees. [BR]

In times like these, VIGILANCE in our units is critical. The only way we can maintain the integrity of the work performed by our bargaining units is to have employees bring light on any areas of concern. The investigatory process and the ensuing meetings help provide the institutional credibility that allows us to say:

SPEEA Works For YOU!


Back to Contents

AWC May Event

"The Need For Agility: Strategies for Balancing Up-front Project Analysis & Design With the Need To Get Feedback"

Perhaps you've heard the phrase paralysis by analysis, where all too often project staff spend too much time on analysis and design. On the contrary, they might spend too little time on the initial planning and instead leap right into the coding.

On one hand, there is great value in getting complete requirements and doing up-front design. Conversely, we know the requirements are going to change. Furthermore, the more work we do up-front, the longer it takes until we can get feedback about what we've done. Both feedback from the customer and feedback on the technical approach we've taken are extremely important. Delays in getting this information dooms many projects. This seminar will review these issues and explore how light methodologies can be more useful in short development cycles.

Learn about: the importance of up-front testing ... how much is enough in analysis ... why developing in short intervals is important ... the proper role of the customer ... the proper role of the developer ... the proper role of the business manager ... why too much analysis and design can be counter productive ... and where to continue your investigation of these issues.

This seminar is intended for technical managers, project managers, team leads and developers who want to know how to get a grip on their software projects.

Speaker Alan Shalloway is founder and senior consultant with Net Objectives. Since 1981, he has been both an OO consultant and developer of software in several industries. He has a Masters in Computer Science from MIT.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Network - 6 pm; Dinner - 6:30 pm;
Program/Q&A - 7-8:15 pm

Best Western Executive Inn

200 Taylor Avenue North, Seattle (206)448-9444



Door Prizes (win free book co-authored by presenter, and more)

Cost: $20 for AWC members; $35 for non-members (dinner and program). For program only, members $10; non-members $20. Registration Deadline: By check, payment due at P.O. Box by Thursday, May 16, 2002; by credit card, payment confirmation due by Monday, May 20, 2002. Register online at

or leave voicemail at (206) 781-7315. Send check by due date to: AWC/PS, P.O. Box 179, Seattle, WA 98111 or pay by credit card on our site via PayPal.

For more info on the Association For Women In Computing - Puget Sound Chapter, visit web site

Back to Contents


t web site

Back to Contents