Violated NLRB by Promoting Non-Union Bonus, SPEEA Charges
The union representing
Boeing employees announced another beef with the manufacturer on
The Boeing Company violated a National Labor Relations Board
(NLRB) settlement agreement by promoting a program that awards cash
bonuses to non-union employees but not to employees represented by
a labor union, according to an unfair labor practice charge filed
Friday by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in
Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001.
The charge is based on a September settlement with Boeing and
SPEEA regarding the way the company promotes the Employee Incentive
Plan (EIP). Created in January 2001 after technical and
professional employees in Wichita organized into a new SPEEA
bargaining unit, the EIP is issued only to non-union employees.
On Thursday, immediately following the release of Boeing's
annual earnings, the company announced the 2004 EIP will pay the
equivalent of 8 days pay to non-union employees. The announcement
comes just two weeks before 3,500 employees at Boeing's Wichita
plant vote on whether to keep or remove SPEEA as their union.
SPEEA filed the Unfair Labor Practice charges with the NLRB
Region 19 office in Seattle.
"The timing of this latest announcement is not by accident or
coincidence," said Charles Bofferding, executive director of SPEEA.
"The ULP charges are filed to hold Boeing accountable to the NLRB
and to employees who believed their company would stick to its
In the settlement, Boeing said that it would not "issue
statements that eligibility in our bonus program known as the
Employee Incentive Plan ("EIP") is limited to employees who are
announcement of the EIP said: "More than 85,000 nonunion employees
worldwide who participated in the 2003 Employee Incentive Plan will
receive 8.0 days of incentive pay for contributing to company
performance last year."
The statement described the payment as one that rewards a "key
group of stakeholders" for their "tremendous commitment to making
this company successful during a very tough year."
Last year's EIP announcement was tied to an advertising campaign
that showed different Boeing employees with large purchases made
possible by the bonus. The communications went to nonunion
employees and the union employees who did not receive checks.
During recent contract negotiations, Boeing negotiators said
they were "prohibited" from talking about the EIP, reaffirming its
status as a nonunion employee benefit.
"If the EIP is a reward for employees, than all employees should
receive a check," Bofferding said. "The EIP is a very divisive
issue in the workplace. It hurts employee morale and it's hurting
the long-term success of Boeing."
Boeing's contract with SPEEA for the Wichita Technical and
Professional Unit (WTPU) expires Feb. 19. The two sides start main
table talks on Feb. 13 to negotiate a new three-year agreement for
3,500 employees in the WTPU.
SPEEA, IFPTE Local 2001, AFL-CIO, represents 20,000 technical
and professional workers at Boeing in seven states.