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Conflict Report: Boeing Strike

5316 words - 22 pages

Conflict Assessment Report
BC 465: Negotiation and Conflict Management
Xxxxxx xxxxxxx
Jones International University
March 30, 2010

This paper is an assessment of a conflict that took place between The Boeing Company and one of its unions, The International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers in 2008.
Conflict Assessment Report

The Boeing Company is the world's top aerospace company and the biggest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft. The company designs and manufactures rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launching vehicles and advancing information and communication systems, and ...view middle of the document...

Nature of the conflict
On September 6, 2008, Boeing made headlines when approximately 27,000 of their employees in California, Kansas, Oregon, and Washington went on strike (Healy, 2008). Boeing was in negotiation with the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers (IAM) about pay, benefits, and job security. Scott Carson, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes issued this statement one day before the strike began, "Over the past two days, Boeing, the union and the federal mediator worked hard in pursuing good-faith explorations of options that could lead to an agreement. Unfortunately the differences were too great to close" (Healy, 2008).
The key stakeholders in this conflict were Boeing employees, their families, and the customers and suppliers affiliated with Boeing. Other stakeholders of Boeing include the company’s stockholders, investors, NASA, all branches of the military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines), the United States government to include departments such as the various intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security, and numerous organizations associated with Boeing’s overseas operations.
My goal of this project is to analyze this conflict from the perspectives of The Boeing Company, the IAM, and the stakeholders. I commence this document by describing the conflict assessment strategy. I then analyze the structural, psychological, and interactional features of the conflict. Next I discuss the conflict management plan used by both sides. Finally, I conclude with ideas for how both sides could have handled the conflict differently.

Conflict Assessment Strategy

Gathering information
Because the author does not work for The Boeing Company, and the conflict took place in 2008, gathering information will primarily be conducted by researching articles on the Internet from various sources. The primary websites will be Boeing (, and The International Association of Machinists (IAM) ( A third major source of information will be Boeing’s Form 10-K filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The Form 10-K furnishes facts and figures as far as production and revenue flow that resulted from the strike.
Wehr conflict assessment guide
The author will use the Wehr conflict assessment guide. The primary reason for utilizing Wehr’s method is because it is the most appropriate and straight forward method to apply to the circumstances surrounding the Boeing versus IAM strike. Wehr’s conflict map poses a series of direct questions that will best analyze what occurred.
The Wehr Conflict Mapping Guide begins with a summary of the conflict by asking, “What is going on here?” Second, the question “How did we get here?” will answer with an explanation of the history of Boeing and the IAM and how the two sides arrived at the 2008 clash. Third, the context of the conflict will establish the scope of the setting such as the...

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