LOS ANGELES Boeing Co.
and its largest white-collar union are at odds even before
voting on the companys latest contract offer has been
completed, with the Society of Professional Engineering
Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) claiming intimidation of
union-represented employees by the aerospace giant.
SPEEA filed an unfair labor
practices complaint against Boeing with the National Labor
Relations Board (NLRB), alleging that Boeing illegally
prevented union members from passing out leaflets at the
companys plant in Everett, Wash., the union said.
The union also alleges that
Boeing has questioned employees about how they plan to vote on
the contract, which SPEEA negotiators and bargaining council
representatives have recommended its members reject.
"Boeing contract proposals
should pass or fail on their merits," Ray Goforth, SPEEAS
executive director, said in a statement. "This illegal
intimidation must cease immediately."
Boeing denies the claim.
A Boeing spokesman in Seattle
stressed that the union hasnt "shared anything" about its
complaint with the company, emphasizing that the Chicago-based
aerospace giant hasnt attempted to intimidate unionized
"Throughout the negotiations, we
have been respectful of the process," the spokesman said,
adding that he doesnt believe Boeings managers
would do anything that "borders on misconduct."
In Tukwila, Wash., an SPEEA
spokesman acknowledged that the NLRB is unlikely to act on the
unions complaint before Feb. 19, when voting on the
contract ends. Boeing has called its proposed contract its
"best and final" offer (
amm.com, Jan. 17).
More than 23,000 SPEEA members,
mainly at Boeings operations in the Puget Sound area, are
voting on the companys four-year contract offer. They
will also vote whether to give union officials strike