About 2,500 union workers at Boeing [BA] manufacturing facilities in the St. Louis area could strike Aug. 1, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other news outlets reported Sunday after members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 837 voted to reject a contract offer.
The St. Louis area plants specialize in national defense work including aircraft such as the F-15, F/A-18, T-7A trainer and MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling drone.
“These highly skilled members fabricate, assemble and build some of the world’s most advanced military and passenger aircraft and missiles,” the union said earlier this month, announcing kickoff of contract talks with Boeing Defense on July 6. The union said in a press release it wanted to strengthen the 401 (k) retirement plan and eliminate “a two-tier wage system.”
Boeing said in a fact sheet cited by the newspaper its three-year contract offer would eliminate the two-tier wage system, provide a $2-per hour rate increase for everyone in the first year and also give workers a $3,000 contract ratification bonus.
The newspaper reported union workers took two votes, one to reject Boeing’s contract offer and a second to go on strike.
The 2,500-employee union in the St. Louis area represents workers across three BA defense sites, including those that build the F-15EX, F/A-18, T-7A trainer, and the MQ-25.