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Boeing says it will deny pension benefits to married same-sex couples

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Boeing Company this week told union negotiators that it intends to deny pension survivor benefits to married same-sex couples, even though Washington State voters approved a marriage equality law earlier this month, according to a report in The Stranger.

Ray Goforth, Executive Director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001, said his union has long sought equal pension benefits for same-sex domestic partners, but that Boeing’s refusal to offer the benefits “says to employees that they can be discriminated against based on who they are.”

“Their answer was that they had no intention of granting pension survivor benefits to legally married same-sex couples because they didn’t have to,” Goforth said.

Boeing representatives told him that pensions are governed by federal law, which doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage, thereby trumping the state law on the matter.

Surrendering to negative press reports, Boeing issued a statement that it plans to take “a closer look at how R-74 might impact company policies once it takes effect in December.”

R-74 (Referendum 74) was the November ballot initiative approved by voters that affirmed the state legislature’s passage of a marriage equality bill that was signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire earlier this year.

“Nothing is ever final in negotiations until they’re over,” a company spokesperson told The Stranger. “What we said today is that (these pension benefits) are not currently addressed in the contract.”

Boeing, one of the largest global aircraft manufacturers in the world, employs more than 82,000 workers in Washington state, and more than 174,000 worldwide.

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52 more reader comments:

  1. Fuck Boeing.. Haha I never flew them anywhore.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 2:59pm
  2. wait till doma is tossed out and lets see them say that

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 2:59pm
  3. See ya in court! :)

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 2:59pm
  4. thats okay i have 2 G5′s in my backyard

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:00pm
  5. let me guess it was a man that came up with that concept.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:00pm
  6. How can we boycott Boeing. What jerks.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:01pm
  7. o.k. A flying asshole company.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:01pm
  8. WTF?!?!?

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:01pm
  9. I won’t fly them ever then.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:02pm
  10. Unfortunately the same could be said of most employers

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:02pm
  11. WTF Boeing?

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:02pm
  12. @Ioannis..better yet it was a married man with a woman on the side (or man).

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:03pm
  13. idga flying F^%$ lol

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:05pm
  14. Booo-Boeing . .. Boooo-Hissssssss . . .. . . .. . …ssssssssss … .

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:05pm
  15. Wtf? That’s disgusting! :-@

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:05pm
  16. Smh. Why must companies think they can trump the people?

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:06pm
  17. That is just wrong!

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:07pm
  18. if the law only excludes “religious” groups, they won’t have a choice in WA state (or any other state w/ same sex marriage laws. last I heard Boeing made airplanes, not Bibles! wonder what the unions will say about it….

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:07pm
  19. This is why we MUST repeal DOMA.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:07pm
  20. This is just one more reason that Federal legislation is needed to ensure absolute American citizen rights for all gay Americans.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:09pm
  21. o_O How does ones gender preference have to do with their airplanes? Everyone’s the same specie when getting on the plane!!

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:09pm
  22. Bad karma Boeing. That decision will come back to bite them in the tail.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:11pm
  23. I am wondering now what kinds of fines they face

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:12pm
  24. for breaking the law?

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:12pm
  25. It’s about the money – they don’t want to spend it. They would deny all of trhem if they could.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:19pm
  26. Post a note on all the airlines that you are a customer of on their Facebook or Twitter feed asking them to demand Boeing, from which they buy their air crafts, to give their employees in same-sex relationships equal treatment as the rest.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:21pm
  27. FUCK ! Boeing…. ! There ASS HOLES ! Homophobes

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:23pm
  28. Shame on them. Disgusting

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:24pm
  29. Gender preference has everything to do with everything in some minds.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:26pm
  30. boycott them into the ground.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:28pm
  31. The question is whether they are indeed true asshats OR is this a sly way of supporting the repeal of DOMA? The real answer is real of DOMA.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:30pm
  32. why do people even care? its saddening that we can elect a black president and legalize marajuana but cant seem to let people have equal rights in this day and age. companies like this and chic-fil-a will have their karma in time.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:31pm
  33. I think an antigay stance of any kind these days, hurts your company

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:46pm
  34. well i just cant wait to see them bankrupt

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:57pm
  35. I think there was a typo. It was meant to say Boeing wants lawsuits from same-sex couples.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:58pm
  36. we should all have equal rights and guarantees no matter who our partner is.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 4:13pm
  37. my wifes insurance isnt covering me they denied us and we r in a state that allows same sex benefits.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 4:13pm
  38. This is wrong. One day they will fall. They will lose one day and we will laugh at them. Gays will win in the end. Mark my words.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 4:23pm
  39. I couldn’t help it…had to e-mail Boeing and say this…I put my comments under financial because that may very well be where the company is headed…in financial trouble. The problem is I just read an article that says your company doesn’t believe in pension benefits for same sex married couples and will deny any employee these benefits. See the problem is under certain state laws that allow for same sex marriage you will now be looking at about every imaginable lawsuit from same sex couples. I myself being gay will not in any way, shape, or form give my money or have positive things about Boeing to say to anyone…and you know how that goes..word gets out and one thing leads to the next. Afterall the Boy Scouts of America have lost many companies trust and willingness to donate money to their organization because of the discrimination against anyone gay …including losing their top two companies they relied on for donations which is in the millions. I honestly don’t write this to you to be a you know what or to look like a smart one but these ideas and practices really do make people think companies such as yourselves don’t care about everyone who works for Boeing and everyone who lives in the United States. I hope the small town kid from Iowa who just wrote this may hopefully make a difference in how Boeing sees this issue.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 4:24pm
  40. Really Boeing, gay people deserve the same benefits as staright people.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 4:30pm
  41. Boeing… WHat is that sound? THe sound of your reputation dropping even further….

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 4:52pm
  42. This is no different than if Boeing announced it would deny benefits to interracial couples or interfaith couples or african american couples or latino couples or asian couples. It is quite clearly Anti-American bigotry and racism. There is one simple solution – no more government contracts or taxpayer support until Boeing treats ALL American citizens fairly.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 5:02pm
  43. Steve, that is a great idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 5:06pm
  44. Assholes

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 5:11pm
  45. Just so wrong

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 5:13pm
  46. I agree that Boeing should have covered SSM couples before. However, had most of you read the article, the company spokesman stated that they have to look at the law regarding SSM again and that it’s not over yet. So calm down, they are taking another look.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 5:15pm
  47. Boeing you aren’t phobic. Your just assholes. I love my wife.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 6:05pm
  48. WTF? What are you thinking Boeing? When will companies do the right thing by there employees? Of course we need unions!

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 6:48pm
  49. They don’t need to take a second look to do what’s right.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 6:49pm
  50. wow

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 7:07pm
  51. One more reason we need Federal Protection for All Married Couples, no matter the gender.

    Posted on Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 12:24am
  52. Take your benefits and shove them.

    Posted on Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 2:00pm