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As we first reported in November, the Boeing Company told union leaders that, even though Washington State's voters legalized marriage equality, it would continue to deny same-sex couples equal benefits because they weren't required to by federal law.

...according to a union spokesperson. Besides the spokesperson's comments, is there really any other evidence that Boeing ever made such a statement itself, or ever took that position?
Posted by doceb on January 17, 2013 at 6:55 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 2

@1) Several unions reps were there, all of whom reported hearing the same thing from Boeing. And when I asked a Boeing spokesman directly, he evaded the question and never denied that was the company's position. There's no reason to doubt the union's account here. My original post explains the situation.

Posted by Dominic Holden on January 17, 2013 at 7:07 PM · Report this
Now can they design a plane that doesn't set itself on fire?
Posted by madcap on January 17, 2013 at 8:23 PM · Report this
I'd like to congratulate the Stranger,, Equal Rights Washington, Congressmen Adam Smith, and SPEEA for driving the message of equality. Boeing should also be recognized for charting the course for the aerospace industry and other employers that are under ERISA. Equality one step at a time.
Posted by Kenneth Aphibal on January 17, 2013 at 8:45 PM · Report this
Rather than calling this a "retreat", I'd characterize it more as a "step forward" for Boeing management.

Regardless of any other issues of contention that may be complicating negotiations, they're doing the right thing on this one (perhaps somewhat reluctantly, but doing it nonetheless), and that should be acknowledged.
Posted by COMTE on January 17, 2013 at 8:59 PM · Report this
About time Boeing. I'd love to say "good job", but at this point it's just "about time."
Posted by Tawnos on January 17, 2013 at 9:42 PM · Report this
Boeing is not to be congratulated, or recognized, for anything except remaining a 1950s company in the 21st century.
Posted by sarah70 on January 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM · Report this

Boeing wouldn't have survived into the 21st Century - think of all the companies that HAVEN'T - whilst maintaining a 1950's style of, well, anything. OTOH, it wouldn't hurt them to, you know, LISTEN to their employees - the people who actually MAKE the planes.

Personally, I'm waiting to find out just which factory the malfunctioning 787's were built: Everett, Charleston or both.
Posted by COMTE on January 17, 2013 at 10:09 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 10
@9 I see you've never worked closely with Boeing management.

I have.

Their attitudes are still pretty much stuck in the 50's
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 17, 2013 at 10:40 PM · Report this
Do not thank ANYONE for this....DO not thank the STRANGER for this article either.

The article misses the whole fact that the HEART of the dispute with SPEEA is that BOEING wants to end the pension plan.

Ending the pension plan means that future workers will no longer receive survivor benefits.

Can you thank someone who only extended it to the workers of yesterday and today and is eliminating it for future workers?

btw, 401K's do not have same sex survivor options if I am correct....they only get to inherit the money and have to pay extra taxes because the relationship is not covered by federal law.

Read it for yourself:
Posted by mjh55404 on January 18, 2013 at 4:33 AM · Report this
Does anyone know if this applies outside Washington? I live in Huntsville, Alabama, and Boeing is one of our major employers here (along with NASA and other aerospace companies). We're not going to be legalizing gay anything anytime soon short of the National Guard forcing it at gunpoint, but it would be nice for Boeing to buck the trend.
Posted by Slartibartfast on January 18, 2013 at 6:22 AM · Report this
@9 -- From what I understand, the standard battery systems were built in China and the Japanese battery systems were installed post-sale.

The airplanes are assembled in Everett and Charleston, but parts for the plastic airplane come from all over the world.
Posted by six shooter on January 18, 2013 at 6:46 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 14
@11...thank you for cutting through the stupifying layers of bullshit people have been throwing around on this issue.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on January 18, 2013 at 7:42 AM · Report this
Lissa 15
@ 11: Exactly. It is no skin off management's nose to say they will extend something to same sex partners which they are ACTIVELY trying to do away with entirely.
It is a cynical, empty gesture on their part.
Posted by Lissa on January 18, 2013 at 10:36 AM · Report this

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