United Aerospace Workers mechanics at Boeing Co.’s Long Beach, CA, assembly plant have ratified a new labor contract and returned to work, ending a strike that idled production of C-17 military cargo jets for one month.
Negotiations between Boeing and the union broke off on May 11. The contract proposal, achieved with the help of a federal negotiator, was approved on June 9 in a decisive vote, 822-544.
"The new contract recognizes our employees' ongoing contributions to our success while enhancing the company's ability to increase our competitiveness and keep the C-17 airlifter affordable so that we can win new work and extend the life of the production line in Long Beach," according to Boeing in a statement.
The new contract runs for five years. It delivers a lump-sum payment to workers in the first year and a general, 3% wage increase in the second and fourth year, according to Boeing.
Monthly pension benefits will increase for workers who retire on or before September 1, from $70 to $81/month for each year of service.
Employees’ medical contribution will increase from 12% to 13% for all plans beginning in 2014. For the PPO plus option, the employee contribution increases from 4% to 5%.
Also, the new contract establishes a prescription management program for employees.
C-17 production is expected to resume at Long Beach, but Boeing recently said it would reduce its annual output of the planes from 16 to 10 per year, by mid-2011.