Boeing talks up tentative deal with IAM

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Boeing is expressing its satisfaction with a tentative new contract agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) aimed at ending a damaging strike, saying it enables it to remain competitive.

The manufacturer says in a statement that under the tentative four-year agreement it has "retained the flexibility to manage its business, while making changes to the contract language to address the union's issues on job security, pay and benefits".

The new contract still requires ratification by around 27,000 IAM-represented employees in the states of Washington, Oregon and Kansas. IAM said earlier today that it expects voting within 3-5 days and if approved the agreement will end a strike that has left Boeing's production lines idle since early last month.

Although full details are not yet being released, Boeing says the agreement provides for general wage increases and increases in pension benefits. "This is an outstanding offer that rewards employees for their contributions to our success while preserving our ability to compete," says Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Scott Carson.

IAM has said that the use of non-Boeing vendors was a key issue in the dispute with the manufacturer. It said in its own statement earlier today that the agreement" will provide job security for its members and limit the amount of work outside vendors can perform in the workplace".