Boeing, Machinists move forward together in Renton

Machinists Union members who work at the Boeing Co. are already seeing results from their decision to ratify a four-year contract extension with the company.

In Renton, Boeing is “spending money on detailed floor plans and placing orders for new tooling and machines,” said Tom Wroblewski, the president of Machinists Union District Lodge 751.

This shows that Boeing is moving forward with its commitment to build the latest version of the 737 in Puget Sound, he said, and “I don’t need to tell you how significant that will be in terms of Machinists Union jobs.”

Wroblewski’s report to members is included in this month’s AeroMechanic newsletter, which is now available online.

This month’s edition includes a report on celebrations Boeing held in Renton in January to mark two events: the successful transition to building 35 737s a month, and the landmark agreement between Boeing and the union that ensured the 737 MAX will be built there.

“The first airplane at the 35-a-month production pace rolled out of the factory the smoothest ever,” Beverly Wyse, Boeing’s vice president and general manager in charge of the 737 program, told employees. “Working as a team, we have achieved production levels never previously reached.”

That teamwork will pay even greater future dividends, Wyse said. “Because of your skills, your experience, your performance and the craftsmanship you demonstrate every day, Renton was chosen to be the home of the MAX,” she said. “That’s good news for all of us.”

Boeing is moving ahead with studies of several options for producing the 737 MAX in Renton, union officers said. Managers are looking into the nooks and crannies of the factory, looking for creative ways to use the square footage more effectively.

“All of this goodness is happening because of your vote,” Wroblewski said.

Before making a final decision, executives plan to hold workshops with veteran Machinists to brainstorm ways to improve efficiency. Shop-floor workers will help define the new 737 MAX production process.

“It’s clear Boeing wants to squeeze as much work as possible into Renton,” said District 751 Business Rep Tommy Wilson.

“Working together is the best way to ensure it happens,” added fellow Business Rep Joe Crockett. “Asking our members, the experts, will ensure all options are explored.”

Also in this month’s AeroMechanic, you can read:

  • A report on work being done to prepare for contract talks for new Machinists Union members who work for URS Corp. at Joint Base Lewis-McChord;
  • An update on contract talks at Hytek Finishes in Kent, where Machinists say “we still have major areas that need work, but there are glimmers of hope” that an agreement is close;
  • Heck

    A report that the Washington Machinists Council has endorsed Denny Heck in his campaign for Congress in the new 10th District. The council represents District 751 and other Machinists Union organizations in the state;

  • A story about how District 751 officers personally are supporting workforce education in Washington state by serving on boards overseeing community colleges;
  • Stories about the union’s community service activities this winter, including support for Northwest Harvest and fundraising for Guide Dogs of America; and
  • A story about how union stewards at Triumph Composites in Spokane are providing important services to members of Machinists Union Local Lodge 86.

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.

To contact a District 751 officer for information on how a union contract could help you, click here

One Response to “Boeing, Machinists move forward together in Renton”
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  1. […] unfortunate that now that we’ve found common ground with Boeing and are enjoying an improved relationship with the company, one of the smaller Boeing suppliers has decided to pick a fight with us over such a fundamental […]

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