SPEEA Union ‘Hopeful’ Over Boeing Contract Talks

Union negotiators representing Boeing engineers and technical workers call their latest talks with the company ‘meaningful’ and ‘substantive.’

SEATTLE (AP) -- Union negotiators representing Boeing Co. engineers and technical workers call their latest talks with the company "meaningful" and "substantive" and say that makes them hopeful about contract negotiations that begin in earnest Oct. 28 at Seatac, Wash.

The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) is negotiating contracts covering nearly 21,000 workers in Washington, Oregon, Utah and California.

Boeing chief negotiator Doug Kight said his side on Thursday "outlined an approach similar to the process that worked well in the past two negotiations with SPEEA, resulting in contract offers that employees supported by well over 80 percent in 2002 and 2005."

SPEEA Executive Director Ray Goforth says "There was more substantive talk about issues during this two-hour meeting than we've had with Boeing since committees started meeting eight months ago."

Negotiators hope to have a proposal ready by mid-November for mail-in voting. Existing contracts expire Dec. 1.

Boeing commercial aircraft production workers have been on strike since Sept. 6.

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