Machinists key to 737: ‘We’re the only ones’

The skills, experience and dedication of Machinists Union members are allowing the Boeing Co. to ramp up production of its Renton-based 737 to unprecedented rates.

“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.”

Joe Crocket, a union business representative in Renton, agreed.

”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:

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.

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  1. […] 7,000th 737, Wroblewski noted. The skills and experience they have gained building those planes have allowed Boeing to ramp up production of current-model 737s to a rate of 35 a […]

  2. […] nearly doubling production rates over the past decade without expanding the factory – happened “because of the team, and the great talent of your personnel, squeezing more efficiencies out of that […]



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