Could Boeing’s Union Dispute Get Messy?

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SPEEA notes that its proposals are aimed at aligning compensation with the value they add to Boeing’s operations. Ostensibly, there is a shortage of high-tech, skilled manufacturing workers in the U.S., giving the union some leverage.

Union members could also be aggravated by reports that top executives at Boeing have had their compensation substantially increased over the past few years. CEO Jim McNerney’s compensation grew 16 percent between 2010 and 2011 to nearly $23 million.

“We are doing everything possible to avoid the need for a work stoppage,” notes SPEEA. However, the union is still preparing for the worst and holding picket captain training sessions.

How Will This Affect Boeing’s Stock?

Shares of Boeing have not materially reacted to the news as of November 30. The time to worry is when negotiations collapse, not when there is a hiccup in the process. Boeing has been one of the best performers in the Dow for November with shares climbing 5.2 percent and seriously out performing Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), which had federally-mediated negotiations with its own union in June.

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