Employees at three Boeing defense factories in the St. Louis area will strike starting August 1, 2022. The decision comes as workers reject the company’s new contract which, they say, contains an inadequate retirement fund plan.
“We cannot accept a contract that is not fair and equitable, as this company continues to make billions of dollars each year off the backs of our hardworking members. Boeing previously took away a pension from our members, and now the company is unwilling to adequately compensate our members’ 401(k) plan,” the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 837 said in a statement.
Nearly 2,500 machinists at three factories in Missouri and Illinois would go on strike, the statement added.
The factories manufacture F-15 Eagle and F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, the T7A Red Hawk trainer and the MQ-25 Stingray unmanned tanker.
In an email to Defense News, Boeing said that it is disappointing that the workers rejected “a strong, highly competitive offer” and will activate a contingency plan so that production could continue during the strike action.
According to ABC News, the contract offered by Boeing provided a wage increase for workers. However, the offer did not include additional annual contributions to workers retirement funds (the 401(k) plan), which replaced the traditional pension model when Boeing ceased offering it in 2014.