Call it pension envy. Unionized machinists have forced Boeing to give in on one of the most contentious issues in their contract talks, a company demand to scrap a traditional pension plan for new hires and push them into 401(k)-like plans.
The move, coming in a second round of negotiations on Aug. 26, could prove costly to Boeing (BA). The aerospace giant will likely remain stuck with a plan that is fading fast all across Corporate America. And, for now at least, Boeing will lose a chance to modernize the pension scheme, perhaps with an alternative that backers say offers the pluses of a traditional plan and a 401(k) with few of the minuses of both schemes.