for living wages. Boeing workers in the United States are striking to improve their labor rights

Workers at Boeing factories in the St. Louis area are threatening to go on strike next week after rejecting the contract offer, which included a wage increase among other things, made by the company.

The 2,500 members of the International Federation of Machinists (IAM) will begin a strike on August 1 at the plants of one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers in St. Louis and St. Charles, Missouri, and Mascotota, Illinois.

“Our members spoke loudly and with one voice,” the union’s statement read. “This company continues to make billions of dollars every year because of our members. Previously, Boeing took a pension from workers, and now the company is not willing to compensate them adequately. We will not allow this company to jeopardize the hard-earned retirement benefits of our members.

They issued a statement from the company saying they were “disappointed” and that their offer included a special contribution of 2% of workers’ salaries in 2023 and 2024, and matching student loan payments to workers’ children. .

The company’s offer would have meant a 7.2% increase in average wages in the first year of the contract, in addition to giving workers a bonus. Workers would also have had a 4% increase in the second year and a 3% increase in the third year, according to Boeing.

For workers, the proposal is not enough, especially if the increase in inflation in the United States is taken into account. The annual measure for June 2022 recorded 9.1%, which is the highest in the past 40 years and also up from 8.6% year-on-year in May.

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Boeing’s defense, aerospace and security business has posted a profit of $1.5 billion in the past two years, making it the world’s second largest defense contractor.

Among the company’s most distinguished products are fixed-wing combat fighters such as the F-15EX and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, as well as helicopters such as the AH-64 Apache and CH-47 Chinook. He is also responsible for Boeing’s space business, including the Starliner spacecraft that recently flew a robotic mission to the International Space Station.

The call for strike by the workers of this important multinational comes in the context of increased strikes in the past year, as workers adopt a tougher stance at the negotiating table in the face of high inflation, which is putting an end to wages. Earnings provided by companies.

According to data from Cornell University, during the first five months of this year, there were 153 strikes in the United States in which about 73,500 workers participated, compared to 78 strikes in which about 22,500 workers participated in the same period last year.

Sacha Woodward

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