This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Boeing Offer Followed Union Push to 'Give Seattle a Shot,' Buffenbarger Says

Stocks in this article: BA


Late in the spring, IAM leaders asked Boeing directly about its plans for the 777X. "They said 'yes, we are planning to launch a replacement for the 777,'" Buffenbarger said. "The next question from us was: 'Are you going to build that in Seattle?' And they said: 'We don't have any plans to build in Seattle; we are looking at other locations to site this. We are looking at whoever is interested.' 

"So the union asked for the opportunity to pitch Seattle, and the company agreed to sit down and talk," he said.

During the summer, Buffenbarger said, IAM leaders researched plant costs and, to the extent possible, other potential sites. Contract talks began in late October, with the IAM team led by Rich Michalski, who had been instrumental in talks that placed 737MAX work in Seattle. Although Michalski is retired, "He is our most experienced guy and he is a dedicated trade unionist," Buffenbarger said. "He did us a favor."

The talks, Buffenbarger stressed, weren't secret. Leaders of Local 751, including President Tom Wroblewski, were full participants. In November, Boeing came up with its final offer. "There was give and take in negotiations; it was the best we could get," Buffenbarger said. The defined benefit pension plan would have ended, but Boeing's 401K contribution would have started at an unusually high 10%, then declined to 4% after four years.

"At the end of the day, it was good money," Buffenbarger said. "It wasn't a takeaway. But membership turned it down. I figured that's it, my job was done." But then Boeing called the IAM back to the table and made improvements, which Buffenbarger values at $1 billion. "In my world, $1 billion is a big improvement," he said.

Boeing spokesman Doug Alder didn't comment specifically on the course of the talks, but said: "There was indeed a lot of give and take during the negotiations. The most important thing is that we're now at a point where employees are voting." IAM spokesman Frank Larkin said it's part of the IAM's mission to let workers vote. "For 125 years, it's been the consummate meaning of being a union member, to vote on the terms you work under," he said.

Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

To contact this writer, click here.

Follow @tedreednc

2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs