Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has told
its union that passage of a gay marriage law in Washington state
won't affect pension benefits for gay married couples.
According to Seattle alternative The
Stranger, Boeing, which was founded in Seattle and maintains
a large number of employees in the state, will likely deny “pension
survivor benefits to same-sex married couples.”
Washington voters earlier this month
upheld a marriage equality law approved by lawmakers.
City Hall to open Sunday, December 9 for first gay weddings.)
In the course of contract negotiations,
the company told union representative Ray Goforth that such benefits
are covered by federal law and that Boeing does not plan to
voluntarily extend the benefits to the spouses of gay employees.
“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 told the
paper. “We are profoundly disappointed that they would use a
loophole to engage in institutionalized discrimination.”
In a statement, Boeing backed off a bit
saying, “Nothing is ever final in negotiations until they're over.
What we said today is that [these benefits] are not currently
addressed in the contract.”