Machinists key to 737: ‘We’re the only ones’
“We are the only ones who can do it,” said Marty DesLaurier, a union member who has built 737 wings in Renton for 15 years. “We have the experience to accomplish it and go forward.”
A story on Boeing’s October move to increase 737 production to 35 planes a month is part of this month’s AeroMechanic newsletter, which is now available online.
Boeing held a ceremony Oct. 18 to mark the start of the new production rate.
Machinists working for the company were already producing a record 31.5 737s a month. The October rate increase is the first of three scheduled between now and mid-2014, at which point Boeing expects to deliver 42 planes a month.
That’s remarkable, said Tom Wroblewski, the president of Machinists Union District Lodge 751. “When I was a business rep in Renton, not even 10 years ago, we thought it would be an accomplishment to deliver 14 planes a month on a regular basis.”
Boeing’s ability to increase production to these rates shows “all the good things that happen when Boeing partners with you, its most skilled employees,” Wroblewski wrote in his monthly message to union members. “You are the most reliable performers across the entire Boeing enterprise, and you deserve the lion’s share of the credit for the company’s success.
“You are also,” Wroblewski continued, “the No. 1 reason why Renton is by far Boeing’s best option for a final assembly site for the 737Max. I’ve made that point in meetings with Boeing leadership and I promise you I will continue to do all I can to ensure the 737Max stays in Puget Sound.”
”We firmly believe there is no other place in the world that should be building 737s than right here in Renton,” he said in a speech to factory workers. “This can-do workforce can accomplish great things.”
Also in this month’s AeroMechanic, you can read:
- A report on a District 751 officer’s testimony before a U.S. Senate committee hearing that looked at training needs for the aerospace industry;
- A profile of a new aerospace worker training program in Yakima that is preparing high school students for jobs in the industry, with the support of the Machinists Union and Boeing;
- An update on ongoing contract talks at Hytek Finishes in Kent, plus reports on two new contracts ratified by District 751 Machinists in Eastern Washington and also on how workers with URS Corp. at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station are benefitting from their first contract; and
- Reports on union community service activities in October, which included the delivery of more than 1,000 pounds of candy to the Salvation Army of White Center for its annual Halloween party.
Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at Boeing, District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents some 30,500 working men and women at 45 employers across Washington, Oregon and California. In 2010, District 751 members used collective bargaining to reach contracts with 22 of those employers, without a single work day lost to strikes.
To contact a District 751 officer for information on how a union contract could help you, click here.