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Boeing Company scare tactics are succeeding -- More walk off the job in Everett.

Business Editors

EVERETT, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 3, 2000

The Boeing Company's attempt to scare employees appears to be working -- the company has succeeded in scaring more people out of the plants and onto the picket lines.

Sharriee Ladson, an interiors numerical control (NC) programmer at the Everett Boeing Plant, walked off the job with a co-worker on Thursday. The pair expects the final worker in their unit to join the strike today (Friday, March 3).

"It took us a little while but we are joining our co-workers out on the line," Ladson said. "The company needs to stop printing half truths. I am not aware of anyone who went back in. There is no work being done. Systems that need work are down. It's not pretty in there right now."

More than 19,000 engineers and technical workers walked off the job at Boeing facilities throughout the Puget Sound region and in Spokane, Portland, Palmdale and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Mesa, Ariz. and at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Today, Friday, March 3, is the 24th day of the strike.

Ladson decided to walk out after learning of the company's decision to call negotiations at an impasse, and the possibility of replacement workers being brought in. Finally, she said comments about moving Boeing manufacturing away from the Puget Sound region were too much.

"Most of us who were crossing the line were doing it for the medical benefits," she added. "We agonized over it for three weeks. But there comes a time when you have to say: 'That's it, you guys have pushed us around long enough.'"

Charles Bofferding, executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA, IFPTE Local 2001, AFL-CIO) said the union has known all along the strike was getting stronger.

"The Boeing Company is in denial," Bofferding said. "This strike has affected every aspect of their operation and they continue to think the way to deal with it is to bully employees. It's not working and it won't work."

In other developments on Thursday (March 2):
-- The union filed an unfair labor practice charge against Boeing. The charge
names Jerry L. Calhoun as the employer representative. The charge states:
"Within the six months preceding the filing of charges, during the course of
contract negotiations, Boeing has failed to bargain in good faith by declaring
impasse without meeting face to face with the union and without exhausting all
prospects for reaching an agreement."

-- Boeing corporate officials in Southern California called a mandatory meeting
of all Designated Engineering Representatives (DERs) for 9:30 a.m. today (March
3). DERs are some of the most experienced engineers. Their job is to certify
parts, processes and planes. Only 23 of the more than 400 DERs in the striking
bargaining unit remain on the job. Boeing has said one option to deal with the
strike is to bring in DERs who work at facilities acquired through the merger
with McDonnel-Douglas.

-- On Saturday, March 4, eight members of the executive board of the Southern
California Professional Engineering Association (SCPEA) will travel to Seattle
to lend their support to striking SPEEA-represented employees. SCPEA represents
4,500 engineers and technical workers at Boeing facilities in Southern
California. Officials of SCPEA have already pledged to SPEEA that none of their
members will volunteer to accept job transfers or temporary assignments to
cover work regularly done by employees now on strike.

-- Undeliverable Boeing aircraft continue to stack up at Boeing facilities
around the Puget Sound region. Union officials continue to contest the
company's ability to ticket airplanes. Boeing claims that 15 planes have been
delivered since the strike began. Union officials documented that on Day One of
the strike, the same number of planes were 90 to 95 percent complete. The
company was scheduled to deliver 42 airplanes in February. The actual count
was, at best, 27. Union officials remain skeptical that these airplanes are
actually in full service. On Thursday (March 2), at least 51 planes were parked
at Boeing fields. As one passerby said "They are stacked up everywhere like
cord wood."

-- Group Health/Alliant notified SPEEA officials on Thursday (March 2) that
staff would continue to provide care and service to SPEEA employees and their
eligible dependents. If SPEEA employees have any questions about their
eligibility during the strike they should call the Boeing Benefits Service
Center at, 888/747-2016.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 3, 2000
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