Boeing engineers and technicians to vote on strike authorization

Feb 1, 2013

About 21,000 Boeing engineers and technicians will vote on whether to authorize a strike. The threat of a walkout comes at a bad time for Boeing as the company tries to fix its 787 Dreamliner.

While Boeing engineers race to figure out what’s wrong with the Dreamliner batteries, they’re also trying to gauge how much the company values them.

Boeing wants to move new hires to a 401(k)-type retirement plan instead of a pension. The union says that means less money for new employees, splitting the union into two factions.

"Right now it’s a game of chicken and it’s just going to be whoever blinks first on this," said Scott Hamilton, an aviation analyst.

Members have until February 19th to vote. If they approve a strike, there’s a week-long waiting period before union leaders can call a strike.

Union leaders say they hope the two sides can then hammer out a better agreement. Boeing executives say this offer is as good as it gets.