Boeing defense workers ratify revised contract offer

A union representing nearly 2,500 workers at three Boeing (BA.N) defense locations in the St. Louis area voted to accept a revised three-year contract offer from the company.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) said the new contract includes an $8,000 lump sum payment that can be deferred to an employee’s 401(k), and continuing the 4% company contribution and 75% match on the first 8% of an employee’s 401(k) contribution.

It also includes an average of a 14% general wage increase over three years, in addition to cost-of-living adjustments. The union had been set to go on strike on Aug. 1 before Boeing made a revised offer on Saturday.

Workers at the three plants in Missouri and Illinois build the F-15, F-18, T-7A trainer, and the MQ-25 unmanned refueler. Boeing said on July 24 it was activating a contingency plan in the event of a strike.

The standoff began after the union had criticized Boeing’s 401(k) payments in the contract and workers rejected the offer.

A Boeing spokesperson said the planemaker was pleased with the outcome of the vote and the company looked forward to its future in the St. Louis area.

IAM said the contract also eliminates a two-tier wage system and has other contract pay and benefit improvements. The new contract takes effect on Thursday.

“We have delivered an equitable contract that will secure the future for the members, their families and future generations,” said IAM District 837 President and Directing Business Representative Tom Boelling.

Boeing’s prior 401(k) offer included a company match of workers’ contributions up to 10% of salaries along with an automatic contribution of 2% for 2023 and 2024. Boeing had also offered a $3,000 ratification bonus.