Wroblewski: We offered 10-year pact
The Union for Machinists at the Boeing Co. offered the company a 10-year contract to give it the labor stability it wanted, only to be rebuffed.
“It was obvious to me that Boeing wasn’t really interested in working with us,” District 751 President Tom Wroblewski said. “They didn’t take our proposals seriously and they never offered any proposals of their own. Most of the time, they didn’t even take notes.”
Boeing had signaled through politicians and the news media that it required a 10-year labor deal to keep its proposed second 787 assembly line in Everett, Wash. But that’s not the message Boeing representatives delivered in recent talks with Union leaders, Wroblewski said. “When our team asked Boeing if 10 years was going to be enough for them, they didn’t respond. And when I asked them to confirm that the extended contract would secure the second 787 line for Washington state, their reply was only: ‘Well, it would be helpful.'”
Wroblewski denied assertions made by Boeing Wednesday that the Union was unwilling to make a deal. “We were willing to discuss any issue to get a deal that we could recommend to our members,” he said. “We floated ideas on health care costs, wages, pensions and lump sums. None of this mattered to Boeing. They didn’t want solutions, but only a scapegoat.”
The Union president was highly critical of Boeing’s decision to put the second line in South Carolina, saying it was just another one in a series of bad management decisions that have led to years of delays for the 787 program. “Instead of investing in our shared future,” he said, “Boeing has decided to double-down on its failed 787 strategy and place an ill-advised billion-dollar bet on a strategy that’s a proven loser.”