Boeing Agrees to Keep Pension

August 27, 2008 ( - The Boeing Co.'s second contract proposal to the Machinists union does not include its request to close its pension plan to new employees.

According to the Everett (Washington) Herald, the company said on Tuesday that it had eliminated three out of four of the issues the Machinists said they would strike over: pension for new employees, retaining Wichita in the bargaining unit, and outsourcing. The company is still attempting to eliminate early retiree medical benefits for Machinists hired after January 1, 2010.

Boeing announced in June that its pension plan will be closed to nonunion employees hired or rehired after January 1, 2009 (See Boeing Announces Switch to DC Only ). The company hopes to avoid a labor strike at a critical point in the manufacturing of its new 787 Dreamliner (See Boeing Attempt to Drop Pension for New Hires Sparks Conflict ).

In addition to no longer seeking to eliminate the pension plan for new hires, Boeing’s new offer includes a monthly payment of $78 for each year of service, up from the existing $70 per year of service and the first offer’s $75 proposal, according to the news report.

The new contract offer also proposes a 4% wage increase in the first year and a 2.5% wage increase in years two and three. Cost of living adjustments proposed are 1.5% in the first year, 0.8% in year two, and 0.5% in year three.

The union will vote on the new offer on September 3.