“In a move that escalates its mounting problems, The Boeing Company today (Jan. 17) rejected union offers to extend existing contracts and instead gave its ‘last best and final’ offers to the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace,” reported the union, which represents 23,000 Boeing (NYSE:BA) engineers and technical workers.
Boeing has been negotiating with the union for over a year on four-year contracts that expired in November of 2012. The union won progress on better pay and limiting reductions to their healthcare benefits, but is unhappy with proposed cuts to current and future pensions.
Those mounting problems that the union referenced include the battery and electric issues with the company’s 787 Dreamliner. Fleets around the globe were grounded after two consecutive problems with batteries that overheated or caught on fire. The complications have sent the stock reeling, with shares hitting $73.45 on Tuesday morning, their lowest since November, before stabilizing to a floor around $74.
Investigators have been deployed around the world to find out what is wrong. In the meantime, focus has turned to the Federal Aviation Administration, which certified the aircraft…