Machinists in Sumner authorize potential strike

SUMNER – Machinists Union members at AIM Aerospace say they’re ready to strike if current negotiations with the company don’t produce an acceptable contract.

AIMSanction5Ninety percent of the union members who work for the company in Sumner voted “yes” in a strike sanction vote on Nov. 13.

The vote does not mean a strike is imminent. However the strong show of support from the membership does strengthen the hand of the union’s bargaining team, said Brett Coty, a business representative for Machinists Union District Lodge 751.

“This sends a clear message that our members at AIM are ready to do what it takes to get a good contract,” Coty said.

The union and the company have been negotiating since September on a first union contract for the workers at AIM’s plant in Sumner. The workers there voted in July to join District 751.

Coty said the two sides have made good progress in negotiating benefits and working conditions, but remain far apart on wages.

The AIM workers, who provide specialized composite aircraft parts for the Boeing Co. and other manufacturers, earn an average of $13.30 an hour.

The two sides met on Dec. 5 and will continue meeting, Coty said.

“We’re going to keep working at it,” he said. “Our members at AIM do high-quality work that’s vital to the success of not only their own company, but of many of the major players in the aerospace industry, including Boeing. They deserve a contract that reflects that.”

District 751 represents more than 250 workers at the AIM plant in Sumner, who fabricate a number of composite components for commercial airplanes, including ventilation systems. The company is a direct supplier to both Boeing and Airbus, and it supplies other aerospace companies including Spirit AeroSystems.

Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at Boeing, District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents some 33,000 working men and women at 49 employers across Washington, Oregon and California.

To talk with a District 751 officer about how a union contract could benefit you, click here.

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