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.

“Boeing’s commitment to building the 737 MAX here in Puget Sound grabbed all the headlines, but it was the pledge to work together that I feel will bring the longest-lasting benefits,” he said.

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

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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