Union prepares to help laid-off Boeing workers

Representatives of Machinists Union District Lodge 751 are preparing to help the 939 union members at Boeing who received 60-day layoff notices on Friday.

2013 layoff guide final_Page_1“Layoffs are never easy,” District President Tom Wroblewski said. “However, we’ve negotiated good benefits for our members who get laid off and we want to make this transition as easy as possible.”

Information on the many benefits available to laid-off union members is available on the union’s website, and in the current edition of the AeroMechanic, which is now available online.

Boeing announced in March that it planned to issue layoff warnings to more than 800 Machinists Union members in Puget Sound — about 2.5 percent of the total Boeing workforce represented by the union.

In addition, Boeing also is laying off managers, and workers represented by other unions. The layoffs come as Boeing winds down change incorporation and refurbishment work on new 747-8 and 787 airplanes.

Generally speaking, all employees who will be laid off will receive some basic help with writing new resumes and figuring out how to apply for unemployment benefits. Depending on how long they’ve been with the company, most will get severance pay.

But the Machinists Union has negotiated additional layoff benefits for its members, including:

  • One-on-one access to career counselors and professional resume writers to help them find new jobs;
  • Six months of medical insurance coverage;
  • Cash to pay for going back to school to study for new careers, if the laid-off workers choose; and
  • The right to get on a recall list at Boeing, which puts the laid-off Machinists first in line should the company start hiring in their old job categories.

The notices issued Friday are only warnings, Wroblewski said. Boeing is looking to place as many workers as possible in other jobs.

In addition, Boeing is working with its Washington state suppliers to help find jobs for the workers who are being laid off. The company plans job fairs in Everett and Renton in May, where workers who have received layoff warnings will get to meet with suppliers looking for workers with their skills.

BillJohnsonAlso 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 more than 33,000 working men and women at 49 employers across Washington, Oregon and California.

To talk to a District 751 officer about how a union contract can help you, click here.


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