Local 2001, AFL-CIO, CLC
OF PROFESSIONAL AND
3 SPEEA SPOTLI TEJANUARY 2019
By Joel Funfar
Goals from my view
Members can be very proud of our union’s many accomplishments this past year – a new contract for Wichita
engineers, advancing aerospace worker issues at
the state and federal level and solid work helping
hundreds of our co-workers navigate medical,
retirement and workplace issues.
With the new year here, it’s time to look ahead and
set some goals for the coming year. I’ve set some
for myself, your elected leaders and our union.
Like all good goals, they are lofty. That’s where
you come in – and all members of SPEEA. After
29 years of belonging to SPEEA, I’ve learned that
when we work together, everything is possible.
Increase member involvement
Member involvement – whether on a committee,
as an Area or Council Representative or just
staying informed in the workplace and voting
in elections – is vital to our continued success.
Much of the real work of our union starts
and takes place in our regional and SPEEA
committees. Every member is welcome and
invited to attend and participate in these
committees. Committees include Young
Members, Membership Activities, Legislative
and Public Affairs, Diversity, Veterans, Women’s
Advocacy and more. Meetings are after work
at our union halls. Dinner is often included.
A complete list with meeting times is on our
SPEEA website under “Councils.”
Becoming an Area Rep is a good way to step
up, learn about our union and slowly increase
involvement. It’s how I got started and it
provided an easy path without the major
commitment of becoming a Council Rep.
Involvement includes staying informed and
voting in our union elections. Low voter turnout
is not unique to our union or to labor unions in
general. Other organizations also worry about
low voter turnout. However, it is a sign of union
involvement and strength that our employers pay
Expand our influence and reach
As aerospace professionals, people are interested in our thoughts and views. But interest and influence are two different things.
Whether in the workplace, community or with
our legislatures and Congress, to advance our
issues, we must expand our influence. That
means continuing and expanding our legislative efforts in the five states where members
work and live; Washington, Kansas, Oregon,
Utah and California. In Washington, D.C., our
affiliation with the International Federation of
Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE)
is a great benefit. However, they cannot do it
alone. I hope to expand these efforts and our
influence in the coming year.
These efforts include encouraging and helping
more members run for political office, serve
on community boards and support Science,
Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
programs in our communities.
Expanding our reach includes helping other aerospace workers gain the benefits of belonging to a
labor union. Today, there are thousands of workers
at Boeing and companies that spun off of Boeing
who lack the good wages, benefits and improved
working conditions that SPEEA members gained
through the collective bargaining process. We
regularly receive calls from workers wanting to
become part of our union. Members can help cultivate these leads by talking to co-workers, family, friends and acquaintances about your positive
experiences as a union member. Today, we have
three bargaining unit contracts at Boeing, two at
Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita and one at Triumph
Composite Systems in Spokane, Wash. Our goal is
to expand that list to include more members and
more bargaining units.
Wichita members now meet several times a
year and have an open dialogue with Spirit
President & CEO Tom Gentile. That is a good
example of improved relations and cooperation.
Another is the continued success of the Ed Wells
Partnership, our joint program with Boeing to
provide advanced training. There are many
others that counter the notion that companies
and unions are always at odds. We are not.
Productive cooperation, however, is not a one-way street. SPEEA has a number of outstanding
issues with our employers that need resolving.
These range from simple to complex contract
issues. My goal is that productive cooperation
resolves most, if not all. However, as your
president, I can safely say we are prepared to
vigorously pursue other channels anytime
necessary to protect the rights, wages, benefits
and working conditions of members.
Secure new work
SPEEA has a long history of helping our employers
launch programs and secure work. We are heavily
involved in the effort to encourage Boeing to site
the primary design and manufacturing of the
proposed New Mid-Market Airplane (NMA) in
Washington state. However, the NMA will have
plenty of work for other locations, and we want
those other locations to be Kansas, Oregon, Utah
Securing new work goes hand-in-hand with
protecting existing work. The women and men
represented by SPEEA are the most skilled and
talented aerospace workers in the world. We
will continue to fight any effort to move work
outside our bargaining units. This is more than
a goal. This why we have a union.
Luther King, Jr.,
In honor of the federal Martin Luther King holiday, countless citizens who care about social justice across the country will celebrate King’s legacy of non-violence to stop
In Seattle, labor, religious and community leaders host events at Garfield High School, including an opportunity fair, workshops, a rally and
march, Monday, Jan. 21. This year’s theme is:
“Affirmative action = JUSTICE.”
In Wichita, the Volunteer Kansas plans a day
of service, helping the Wichita Habitat for
Humanity build a home for a family in need.
The event, at the Century II Performing Arts
and Convention Center, will focus on construction of interior and exterior walls.
In Portland, United Way teams up with Hands
On Greater Portland for a weekend of volunteer events across Multnomah, Washington,
Clackamas and Clark counties. Volunteers will
help with school beautification, helping food
banks and school room re-organization projects.
SPEEA offices will be closed Jan. 21.
Professional and support staff at
SPEEA, IFPTE Local 2001................................................ 4-5
Executive Board: Petitions due this
month for SPEEA regional vice president................... 6
New certificate program designed for
technical leadership at Boeing....................................... 7
SPEEA 101: Training helps new hires
learn about union and contract benefits.................... 7
Midwest CRs meet with Spirit CEO ............................... 8
Labor union scholarships ................................................. 8