Boeing-produced F-15 fighter jet in St. Louis

Boeing Workers in St. Louis Agree to Deal, Avoid Strike

Aug. 3, 2022
Employees at plants making fighter jets and critical components win higher wages, avoid benefits cuts.

Workers at three Boeing plants in St. Louis, Missouri, agreed to a new three-year contract that provides 14% wages increases, elimination of two-tier employment structures, higher shift premiums for certain shifts and no increased costs for healthcare.

Before Boeing sweetened its contract offering, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 837 had approved a strike that could have stopped production of F-15 fighter jets and weapons systems used on other military planes. Boeing revived F-15 production last year following a 20-year hiatus for the military jet.

The union represents about 2,500 workers in the area.

“The IAM brought home a contract that reflects the skill and dedication of our District 837 membership,” said IAM Aerospace General Vice President Mark Blondin. “I congratulate our members for trusting their elected committee to deliver an agreement that improved the retirement security for thousands of our members at Boeing St. Louis.

For the past several years, unions have fought hard to eliminate two-tier wage structures in which new employees are locked into lower pay rates than senior people. The United Auto Workers and other unions have fought to make equal pay for equal work a standard, clawing back concessions made during past recessions when labor markets made replacing workers easier.

Eliminating a two-tier wage was a key worker demand in last year’s Kellogg’s strike, but the union eventually agreed to pay raises while leaving the structure in place. In 2019, General Motors workers went on strike for six weeks, eventually winning the end of a two-tier structure.

In addition to pay raises and the elimination of the wage differences, the union says workers will get $8,000 lump sum payments that can be deferred to an employee’s 401(k). Workers will retain a 100% match on the first 4% employees put into their 401(k) accounts and a 75% match on the first 8%.

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