Note: scroll down to see Updates as events unfold.
As we expected, the IAM leadership recommended a No vote on the “best and final” offer from Boeing, setting the stage for a contract vote and a companion strike vote September 3.
Boeing expressed disappointment with the recommendation.
By IAM by-laws, two-thirds of the membership has to vote against the contract, so Boeing could prevail with only a one-third+one “yes” vote. This happened in 2002. Boeing hopes for a majority yes vote rather than a technical win.
Here is the IAM response to Boeing’s offer.
Here is an IAM summary response to the line-by-line Boeing proposal.
Here is the link to Boeing’s full contract offer.
Here is Boeing’s YouTube video about the offer, under 3 minutes:
Here is the first of what will be many local (Seattle) newspaper stories:
Seattle Times, August 29.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 29.
Update, Aug. 30:
Here is a 7:25 minute video from the IAM dissecting its view of the Boeing offer.
Here is an IAM information sheet to its members of they vote to strike.
Update, Aug. 31:
This might be bad news for the IAM leadership or it might be nothing. In an unscientific poll underway by The Everett Herald, those voting on whether the IAM will get its 66 2/3rds vote needed to reject the Boeing contract offer have now falled to–66%. When we first saw the poll Saturday morning, 70% believed the IAM would reach the two-thirds mark required by the IAM by-laws to reject the contract. By the time we talked with Herald reporter Michelle Dunlop for her story published today, the vote had dropped to 687%, with more than 500 people voting in the poll.
Neither we–nor Michelle–knows how to take the poll. It’s not scientific and there is no way to prevent anyone from voting multiple times and it’s possible for Boeing management to vote, rather than restricting the vote to the IAM membership. The general public can vote as well. But having done some polling ourselves many moons ago, on the street corner in political season, we know that the greater the numbers, even in an unscientific the poll, the more accurate it is. Thus, we think the trend for the IAM leaders is not only discouraging but also now that the Herald’s poll has dropped below the 67% level this isn’t good news for the union leadership.
Everett Herald. Some union members welcome strike.
A few interesting stories today on the USAF tanker saga:
Business Week: Boeing’s tanker challenge.
Reuters: US arms buyer faults Boeing. This story quotes a Jacques Gansler of the University of Maryland who now sits on the Defense Science Board. If memory serves correctly, Northrop Grumman partially funded a study at the U of M Gansler oversaw on the tanker. No mention of this is in the story.
Note: Be sure and check out updates to posts below on the 787 and the best-and-final offer.
Update, August 31:
The Tacoma News Tribune has this long analysis on the tanker and whether Boeing should press on.
Boeing has dominated the news in recent weeks because of the tanker and the IAM contract negotiations. At long last, here’s some news about Airbus.
The company is actively talking about stretching the A380-800 to a -900, 1,000 passenger version. A new intereview with Louis Gallois, CEO of Airbus parent EADS, looks at 2010 as when this program might be launched. The story is here. Meanwhile, delivery of Emirates Airlines’ second A380 is delayed.
For all those Airbus-Northrop critics who whine about the prospect Northrop (the prime contractor, let’s remember) won’t protect and honor US restrictions on selling the KC-30 or its components to nations hostile to US interests, here’s a Reuter’s story about how Airbus won’t sell airliners to Syria as long as sanctions are in place.
Pratt & Whitney shipped its P1000G Geared Turbo Fan engine to Airbus for installation on an A340 test bed, according to this Flight International story. Airbus is considering offering the GTF on its A320 family.
Update 8:40 AM PDT, Aug. 29: EADS says there are no current discussions underway with Syria for a large Airbus order. The operative word in the statement is “currently.”
During a podcast conducted Wedesday with the IAM by Innovation Analysis Group about the contract negotiations between Boeing and the IAM, an IAM official ended the 16 minute podcast with the suggestion that Boeing may have to reevaluate its schedule for the first flight of the 787.
At the Farnborough Air Show, 787 program chief Pat Shanahan told Bloomberg News that the first flight was expected for November; schedules provided suppliers still currently list the first flight for the end of October.
The IAM official, when asked if November (Shanahan’s Farnborough prediction) was still likely, the official responded that he believes Boeing will have to reevaluate this timetable. Off-line, the official confirmed that this was exclusive of any potential strike.
We queried Boeing today about the IAM prediction, and the response from corporate communications was that the schedule for “the fourth quarter” has not changed. The spokesman on the 787 program declined to respond specifically to the November date referred to by Bloomberg (this spokesman was not at the Farnborough Air Show and did not hear Shanahan’s comments).
Chatter is becoming increasingly frequent that first flight may be in December toward year-end–which is still the “fourth quarter” published by Boeing.
Update, 6:50 AM PDT, Aug. 29: Business Week has this piece about the cost of the Dreamliner being $2bn more than expected due to the delays. See also today’s updates under Boeing’s best-and-final offer posting below.
Boeing just posted its Best and Final Offer to the IAM in the contract negotiations, and it’s going to bypass the IAM leadership and take the offer directly to the IAM membership for approval. The vote is September 3.
Here is a 14-minute podcast with the aerospace reporter from The Seattle Times, Dominic Gates, completed just before noon PDT today, immediately prior to the Boeing offer being posted. His insights are particularly noteworthy.
Update, 06:40 AM PDT, Aug. 29: Here are early news stories, with some IAM reaction to Boeing’s “best-and-final” offer.”
First, from the local Puget Sound area press:
Seattle Times: Early reaction negative.
Seatt Post-Intelligencer: A good piece with an overview of the situation.
The Everett Herald, also with a recap.
From national media:
Business Week: 787 cost overruns of $2bn may have influenced Boeing’s offer to IAM.
Bloomberg News: IAM reviewing offer line-by-line.
The IAM’s first reaction–posted at 2 in the morning August 29–may be found on the IAM website here. A full IAM recap and recommendation appears to be coming Saturday. A summary is expected late Friday (today).