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SPEEA Files NLRB Complaint Alleging Retaliation Against Member Engineers

SPEEA Union Files NLRB Complaint Against Boeing

The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) has lodged a formal complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), alleging retaliation by Boeing management against two of its union members. These engineers, who were tasked as representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under the Organization Delegation Authorization (ODA), challenged Boeing to revisit engineering evaluations on the 777 and 787 models following new FAA advisories.

According to SPEEA, the engineers' insistence on reevaluating previous assessments to ensure compliance with FAA guidance led to pushback from Boeing managers. Despite the engineers' adherence to regulatory demands, which eventually resulted in Boeing revising the necessary analyses, the engineers faced severe consequences. Their subsequent performance reviews were negatively impacted, which SPEEA argues were retaliation for their insistence on compliance, affecting their career advancement opportunities including raises and promotions.

The union is now fighting to access a report Boeing submitted to the FAA concerning the incident, which it believes is crucial for appealing the actions taken against one of the engineers--the other having resigned due to the treatment received. SPEEA's pursuit of this information led to the filing of an Unfair Labor Practice charge on April 18, aiming to compel Boeing to release the document.

This case has brought to light broader concerns regarding Boeing's workplace culture, particularly the freedom and safety of its engineers to report issues without fear of retaliation. The ODA process allows company employees to certify their own work on behalf of the FAA, a practice meant to streamline operations but one that has come under scrutiny for how it is implemented within Boeing.

SPEEA's actions underscore a significant tension between the need for stringent safety protocols in aerospace engineering and the corporate pressures of cost and production timelines. As the NLRB considers the complaint, the aerospace community watches closely, recognizing that the outcome could have far-reaching implications for safety culture and whistleblower protections within the industry.

FMI: www.SPEEA.org


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