Business Rep named to IAM Aerospace Territory staff

AUBURN — A Machinists Union officer who worked for more than 25 years at Boeing in Puget Sound will now be one of union’s top negotiators with aerospace companies across North America.

Mark B. Johnson will be a Grand Lodge representative for the union’s new Aerospace Territory, said International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers International President Tom Buffenbarger.

In his new role, Johnson will help lead a new department of the IAM&AW that’s focused on the needs of aerospace industry workers across the United States and Canada.

Johnson has been a Business Representative for Machinists Union District Lodge 751 in Seattle since 2004, representing Machinists working for Boeing at the company’s Renton and Auburn sites.

The IAM’s Aerospace Territory is headed by Mark Blondin, a former District 751 president who was recently named general vice president overseeing the department.

Blondin said Johnson is joining a team of IAM aerospace coordinators that  contains “some of the most capable, talented and formidable union representatives the IAM has to offer.

“Our industry is beset by extraordinary challenges, but there are also real opportunities for growth,” Blondin continued. “We intend to be very aggressive in pursuing organizing leads and just as aggressive protecting the hard-won pay, benefits and pensions of our existing members.”

Johnson’s been a Machinists Union member since he first hired on at Boeing in 1977 as a facilities maintenance mechanic in Auburn. Union membership was optional at that time, Johnson recalled, but “I joined the union the first day.”

He became a union steward, then an officer of Local Lodge 751-C, where he was lodge president prior to becoming a business rep. He also served on the district’s executive board and legislative committee.

As a District 751 business representative,  Johnson has taken part in the union’s last three rounds of contract talks with Boeing, including the recently concluded negotiations for a four-year contract extension, where he helped lead talks over wages and incentives. He has also been part of the District 751 bargaining team for contract talks at aerospace suppliers Triumph Composites and GKN.

District 751 President Tom Wroblewski called Johnson’s promotion “another proud moment” for his lodge. “I wish Mark much success on his new assignment and look forward to working with him in his new role,” Wroblewski said.

“I’m very excited,” Johnson said. “Being a Grand Lodge Rep means I’ll have even more opportunity to help our membership, both at District 751 and at all other Boeing sites.”

Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at Boeing, District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents more than 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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