Machinists ratify 22 contracts, show strength

SEATTLE – Machinists Union District Lodge 751 successfully negotiated contracts with 22 employers in 2010, without a single workday lost to strikes.

That track record shows the power of union solidary, District 751 President Tom Wroblewski said.

“We had a lot of good contract wins in 2010, including the ground-breaking contract with Triumph Composites in Spokane,” Wroblewksi wrote in his monthly message to members. “The fact that we were able to come to terms on agreeable contracts with so many employers — without anyone spending even an hour on a picket line — speaks volumes about what we can achieve when we work in solidarity.”

Wroblewski’s comments are printed in the current edition of the AeroMechanic newsletter, which is now available online.

In his letter to members, Wroblewski noted that the Machinists Union’s success in blocking a Mexico aerospace outsourcing conference — and its successful intervention in grocery worker contract talks — were two relevant examples of the power of union solidarity.

In November, organizers of a proposed MexicoNow outsourcing conference at SeaTac cancelled the event, rather than face protests from unions, led by Machinists. At the same time, Machinists helped members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union get stalled contract talks started again, after Wroblewski warned executives at Albertson’s, Fred Meyer, QFC and Safeway that Machinists would boycott their stores should the UFCW go out on strike. That threat helped push management toward a contract offer workers could approve.

“In both cases, this union was successful not because I wrote letters, but because of you,” Wroblewski told his members.

“You’ve proven time and again that you’re willing to work in solidary,” he continued. “That’s what gives this union strength, and makes each of us stronger.”

By working together, Machinists also made a big difference in the lives of struggling Washington residents in December, as hundreds of union volunteers turned out for food drives and to raise money for the Salvation Army’s charity efforts.

“It was just one more examle of how we as individuals are more powerful when we come together to work for a common goal, whether it be feeding the hungry or making our companies better places to work,” Wroblewski said.

Also in this month’s AeroMechanic, you’ll find:

  • Stories on three contracts ratified by District 751 members in December — with L-3 Communications at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Pexco in Union Gap and Cummins NW in Spokane and Pendleton, Ore.
  • A story on how Machinists Union members are working with the Boeing Co. to improve manufacturing processes at the company’s Auburn plant.
  • A report on how a union steward helped a member working for Boeing in Everett to win $19,000 owed him in back pay.
  • A story on how Boeing has added more than 1,400 new Machinists in the past three months, and what union Business Representatives are telling the new hires.
  • A feature on how Local 1951 member Dennis Meech is adapting to life with his guide dog, Lefty, provided by Guide Dogs of America, a non-profit group that is supported by the Machinists Union.
  • A recap of the union’s community service projects in December, which included an effort that raised more than $1,150 for the Seattle Union Gospel Mission, a drive in Renton to collect more than $700 for a toy drive, and an Everett worker’s personal donation of 13 bicyles and helmets to the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots drive.

Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at Boeing, Machinists District Lodge 751 now represents more than 26,000 working men and women at 44 employers across Washington, Oregon and California.

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  1. [...] report on how District 751 members approved 23 separate contracts with 22 employers in 2010, without a single day lost to strikes. “If you sit down together with a goal of reaching an agreement, you can get an [...]



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