After months of investigation, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, IFPTE Local 2001, charged Boeing with age discrimination.
Acting on behalf of SPEEA-represented engineers, the union filed the third-party charges July 23 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Washington State Human Rights Commission.
The evidence is overwhelming that Boeing hatched and implemented a scheme to engage in age discrimination on a breathtaking scale, said Ray Goforth, SPEEA executive director. The scheme involved secret manipulation of the retention ranking factors used to determine layoff order for employees. This illegal manipulation doubled, tripled, and quadrupled layoff vulnerability for older employees compared to previous years. The company then announced a series of work movements and reorganizations to implement the manipulated layoff order.
Since initial reports of layoffs last year totaling more than 1,000 manufacturing jobs, that number has grown to more than 2,500 with projections of up to 4,500 by 2016.
Most industry observers have been confused or critical of the decisions to dismantle and disburse the experienced commercial engineering workforce, Goforth continued. The business case for these decisions was laughably superficial. Here is the explanation that makes sense. The disbursement of work to Russia, India and domestic centers of excellence’ is merely a pretext for the wholesale purge of Boeing’s older workforce.
SPEEA represents more than 25,000 employees in Washington, Kansas, Oregon, Utah, California and Florida, at Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems and Triumph Composite Systems. SPEEA is affiliated with the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers.