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Boeing avoids a strike in St. Louis area as union ratifies three-year contract

The new contract takes effect Thursday.
A Boeing building in north St. Louis County.

ST. LOUIS — The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) avoided a strike at its three defense plants in the St. Louis area as members of the machinists’ union on Wednesday ratified a new contract, with both sides agreeing to maintain existing retirement benefits.

The vote tally by members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers was not released, but a union spokesperson said it was "overwhelmingly in favor." IAM District 837 has nearly 2,500 members. The new contract takes effect Thursday.

“Our members at Boeing St. Louis fought hard to ensure they received a contract that compensated them fairly,” said IAM Aerospace Chief of Staff Jody Bennett said in a statement. “Our negotiating committee focused on getting the members a deal that avoided takeaways and delivered increased wages and benefits.”

A strike had been scheduled for Aug. 1. Union leaders postponed it after Boeing made a modified contract offer on July 29 in negotiations. Boeing withdrew its 401(k) savings proposal that union members had voted down July 24. 

Under the three-year contract that workers approved Wednesday, Boeing will continue to make 4% contributions of the employee's base rate and incentive pay into his or her 401(k) account without that employee being required to make a contribution.

The company also will continue the 75% match on the first 8% of an employee's contribution. The previous proposal was 2% each in 2023 and 2024 and a 100% match on the first 10% of an employee's contribution.

Read about the full contract and story on the St. Louis Business Journal website. 

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