Boeing firefighters have given their approval to a new four-year contract deal that will bring wage increases and put an end to a lockout that lasted for several weeks. In early May, Boeing had locked out members of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local I-66 in Washington state after their rejection of two contract offers. This move had raised concerns from President Joe Biden, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee, and many members of Congress.

The unionized firefighters voted 86-24 in favor of the deal, and they will be returning to work on Saturday. The new agreement includes general wage hikes ranging from 2% to 3% annually. Additionally, guaranteed overtime will increase the average annual pay by up to $21,216. The deal also includes a $1,000 signing bonus and other improvements in compensation, as stated in a joint fact sheet from the company and the union reviewed by Reuters.
The agreement also includes a restructuring of job classifications, providing more opportunities for promotion and reducing the time required to reach top pay.

Boeing expressed its satisfaction with the firefighters’ ratification of the new contract and looks forward to their return to work.

The company did not disclose the additional financial impact of the agreement nor did it respond to inquiries regarding this matter.

In early May, Boeing had proposed an increase in firefighters’ average take-home pay from $91,000 to $112,000 in the first year.

Meanwhile, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is separately negotiating a new contract for over 30,000 workers involved in building Boeing’s 737 MAX jets.

During the negotiations with Boeing, IAFF I-66 President Casey Yeager mentioned that the larger talks with the 30,000 workers were a factor in the challenging discussions. He questioned whether Boeing was truly willing to accommodate a local group of 125 individuals when facing negotiations with a much larger workforce in the coming fall.
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