Dear Brothers and Sisters: November 01, 2021
These have certainly been some of the toughest times for our members, as we have all been impacted by the COVID pandemic. First and foremost, we are continuing to engage in effects bargaining with The Boeing Company. We are not close to reaching an agreement and will continue to schedule meetings in the future. It is important for us to communicate today, as we understand the anxiety and stress this vaccine mandate has caused for our members.
We want to encourage members that are considering submission of a medical or religious exemption to complete those through the process Boeing outlined. Even if an exemption request is submitted after November 1st, it will be evaluated by the company. We know that many exemption requests will be approved, however, please contact us if your exemption request is denied.
Like many of you, the Union still has many unanswered questions regarding the vaccine mandate. Sadly, we are unable to answer many of these questions because, like you we are unable to get an answer from the Company. The Union has not received an answer from the Company regarding how their process to release our members will take place. The answer to this very basic question is important to the Union as it will likely lead to additional proposals from the union.
The Company communicated during our initial meeting that they did not want to lose any employees due to the vaccine mandate. The Union gave proposals that would accomplish the goals of the Company while protecting the rights of our membership. We want the membership to know the Company’s actions appear to conflict with this stated message. Every proposal offered by the Union was rejected by the Company and replaced with limited language that does not resolve the issue our membership has with the vaccine mandate.
The Union proposals included:
- Approving medical LOA per the CBA for those not vaccinated by the deadline.
- Additional paid time off for those with short term adverse reactions to the vaccine.
- Workers comp for those with long term reactions to the vaccine.
- Placing those eligible to retire on administrative leave until the end of December when their retirement would commence.
- Union notified of all accommodation denials and the right to advocate on our members behalf.
- Monetary incentives including bonus and per hour raises.
We must reiterate these proposals were either rejected by the Company or replaced with inferior language that do not meet the needs of our membership.
With the Companies stance on these issues, the Union is inclined to inform those wishing to retire in lieu of meeting the vaccine deadline to request your retirement packet now with the last day of work as November 30th and pension commencement date of December 1st. The Union believes if the Company does not allow for an administrative leave from December 8th to bridge our members to the end of December it may have a substantial impact on your retirement benefit. As this is a very fluid situation, if anything changes with any of these proposals the Union will notify the membership as soon as possible.
No matter your position on mandates, every member needs to see exactly how this Company disregards its employees’ rights during these unprecedented times. The Union is committed to protecting our members rights and we are requesting the Company to be fair and ethical as we attempt to return to some sense of normalcy. Unfortunately, the Company is aware the Union’s only tangible bargaining power during these negotiations is the possibility some of our members may leave the employment of the Company. We are hopeful it does not come to that, and the bargaining process works. Next year during our contract negotiations the situations will be vastly different. We ask each member to remember how the Company is treating the membership during this time of uncertainty and anguish.
President-Directing Bus Representative
IAMAW District 837