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Boeing reverses on marriage benefits
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2013-01-21

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Chicago-based aerospace company Boeing has agreed to extend equal pension benefits to married gay couples in Washington during union negotiations, after the union reported that the company said it would refuse to do so.

In November, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), alleged that Boeing representatives declined to extend the benefits to same-sex couples, despite the recent passage of marriage equality in Washington.

Ray Goforth, executive director of SPEEA, said that the company clearly stated it was not required to extend the benefits because federal law does not recognize same-sex marriage.

Boeing would not confirm that report, but said it was studying the implications of the new law.

The Stranger, a Seattle-based newspaper that broke the initial story, reported that Boeing had recently changed tunes on the benefits.

Boeing Spokesperson Doug Alder confirmed that the benefits extension is in the new contracts.

Still, SPEEA and Boeing remain locked in a bitter fight over the new contracts, with SPEEA threatening to reject the contracts and strike.


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