Boeing workers at 3 plants in the St. Louis area ratify contract and stave off strike

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Unionized Boeing workers at three St. Louis-area factories voted in favor of the company’s latest contract offer on Wednesday, averting a strike that threatened to paralyze the company’s production of vital military hardware.

a strike by some 2,500 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 837 would have started at midnight if the three-year contract had been voted down.

The machinists rejected the last contract offer on July 25, citing pension provisions. That proposal included a 10 percent 401(k) adjustment from the company, but workers said that paled in comparison to the pension plans it previously offered. The new deal includes an $8,000 lump sum payment that can be pushed into an employee’s 401(k) plan and a 14 percent overall pay increase.

“Ultimately, that is what the forthcoming strike was about. Congratulations to the members of IAM’s District 837 who worked hard to reach a fairer and more equitable agreement,” Steve Galloway, IAM’s Midwest Area general vice president.

A Boeing spokesman said the company was “pleased with the outcome of the vote and we look forward to our future here in the St. Louis area.”

The St. Louis-area factories are part of Boeing’s Defense, Space and Security unit in Arlington, Virginia, whose work is considered “vital” to national security. Military aircraft include the F-15 Eagle and F-18 Hornet fighter jets, the T-7 Red Hawk training jet and the MQ-25 refueling drone.

According to an analysis by Jefferies Investment Bank, these programs together generated approximately $3.5 billion in revenue for Boeing in 2022, accounting for a sizable portion of Boeing’s $25.7 billion annual defense business.

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