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Boeing Executive Accuses Strikers

March 16, 2000

SEATTLE (AP) _ A top Boeing Co. executive has accused striking engineers of trying to destroy the company’s reputation by telling airlines and the government that new aircraft are unsafe.

Alan Mulally, president of the commercial airplanes unit, said in a letter dated Monday ``a few″ employees were maligning the company.

Mulally also said in the letter mailed to 91,000 employees in the commercial airplanes division that universities were being told that Boeing ``is a terrible place to work.″

``You and I know that these statements are not true,″ Mulally wrote, adding that striking engineers must stop ``maliciously attacking our company and deliberately trying to destroy our reputation.″

Charles Bofferding, executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, said Wednesday the union has not been in contact with airlines and that any letters to Boeing customers were likely the actions of individuals not supported by the union.

Bofferding and union members have met with members of Congress and Federal Aviation Administration officials to talk about safety issues. But he said they have not characterized Boeing’s planes as unsafe, mostly because so few of them have been delivered since the strike began Feb. 9.

``They’re not delivering planes because the SPEEA workers who ensure those planes are safe are not on the job,″ Bofferding said. ``If Boeing were to start delivering a lot of planes, we would then have cause to speak out more forcefully.″

The union said more than 17,000 engineers and technical workers are still on strike. They have turned down three offers by Boeing, saying the offers did not include guaranteed bonuses or sufficient health benefits.

Boeing’s value has fallen by about $5.3 billion since the walkout began.

The newspaper also estimated that strikers have lost more than $125 million in wages, based on a company estimate of $3.4 million a day.

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On the Net: Boeing Web site: http://www.boeing.com/

Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace: http://www.speea.org/index2.html

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