Union chief: Boeing accord brings long-lasting benefits
The agreement to locate production of Boeing’s 737 MAX in Renton grabbed all the headlines, but the greater significance of the recent accord between the Machinists Union and the company lies in the fine print of the contract, a union leader said.
With the ratified agreement, “Boeing and the Machinists Union have agreed to a common set of goals and a new framework for achieving them,” said Tom Wroblewski, the president of Machinists Union District Lodge 751. “We’ve committed to working toward the mutual success of both labor and management.”
Wroblewski’s comments are in his monthly letter to union members, which is printed in the current edition of the AeroMechanic newsletter. It’s now available online.
Boeing’s decision to work together with its largest union – rather than continue to fight it — represents a significant break in the last 30 years of union and management relations in America, Wroblewski said
For the past generation, Wall Street and its political allies have assumed the only way to grow profits was to crush unions, strip away pay and benefits and send work overseas, he said. The result is that poverty in America is at an all-time high, and companies are afraid to invest here, because no one can afford to buy their products.
“Boeing is choosing another path,” Wroblewski said. “It is committing to the Machinists Union that one of its top goals is to sustain and grow good-paying jobs with benefits.”
Boeing has been rewarded for that decision, Wroblewski continued, by Wall Street investors who have pushed stock values higher, and by customers who have placed tens of billions of dollars worth of orders.
Also in this month’s AeroMechanic, you’ll find:
- More coverage of the historic vote on the four-year contract extension with Boeing;
- A report on how 350 military contractors working for URS Corp. at Joint Base Lewis-McChord have voted to join the Machinists Union, plus information on four labor agreements ratified by workers employed by other contractors at JBLM;
- An update on December’s strike sanction vote by Machinists Union members at Hytek Finishes in Kent;
- A report on how Machinists Union members who operate Washington’s largest landfill have approved a new contract.
- A story about how a selfless act by a Machinists Union member saved the life of his granddaughter; and
- Reports on the union’s December community service activities, including its support for KING-TV’s annual Home Team Harvest food drive, fundraising for Guide Dogs of America and efforts by local lodges across Eastern Washington.
Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at Boeing, District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents nearly 31,000 working men and women at 45 employers across Washington, Oregon and California. In December, District 751 members used collective bargaining to reach an agreement that ensures Boeing’s new 737 MAX will be built in Puget Sound.
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