Boeing firefighters vote to ratify contract with company

After more than a month of negotiations, the firefighters at Boeing reached a deal with the company.

On Tuesday, Boeing and the IAFF Firefighters reached a tentative agreement that would end the lockout and meet the needs of the firefighters and the company.

On Thursday, the new contract was ratified by the union in a 86-24 vote. With the approved contract, firefighters are expected to return to work by this Saturday, June 1. 

Negotiations for pay increases, better career progression and safety concerns have been ongoing since mid-February.

On May 4, Boeing locked out its 125 firefighters and emergency medical workers after an agreement with IAFF Local I-66 was not reached.

The new agreement, good for four years, increases pay on average of up to $21,216 per year without any change in working requirements. It also guarantees four hours of overtime pay for each 24-hour shift worked (or 416 overtime hours per year).

The new agreement also increases remote holiday hours from 100 to 144 hours. A revision in seniority progression also allows for a 30% increase above the current progression value. 

Firefighters will also have an additional bereavement day each calendar year for 24-hour shift employees and additional three consecutive bereavement days each calendar year for non-24-hour-shift employees.

Through the course of negotiations, each side has accused the other of bad-faith negotiating.

"Boeing Local I-66 firefighters stood tall in the face of a multi-billion-dollar company trying to break their ranks. The entirety of the Labor Movement stood with them, as did President Joe Biden, who called on Boeing to give fire fighters better pay and benefits," said IAFF General President Edward Kelly. "We’re grateful our rank-and-file members got the contract they deserve, one that provides them with fair pay for their critical work. This is why collective bargaining matters – it gives workers a voice at the table and strengthens our country’s middle class."

In a statement to FOX 13, Boeing said: "We’re pleased our firefighters have ratified a new contract and look forward to them returning to work."

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