Wroblewski clarifies events surrounding Boeing offer

TomportraitSEATTLE — Tom Wroblewski, the president of Machinists Union District Lodge 751, sent the following message to his union membership this morning, regarding Boeing’s decision to break off talks aimed at securing the 777X for Washington state:

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Several hundred of our 30,000 members at Boeing e-mailed me overnight to ask why you can’t vote on the company’s most-recent contract offer. The answer is simple:

There is no offer to vote.

Boeing’s offer was only on the table Thursday so long as I agreed to recommend the offer and urge you to vote yes on it. But I could not recommend you accept this offer. When I said we couldn’t do that, Boeing withdrew the offer immediately.

So there is no offer to vote.

As union leaders, we couldn’t go onto the shop floor to ask you to accept this proposal. Despite what Boeing is saying, the offer was almost identical to the one you rejected by a 2-to-1 margin on Nov. 13.

In the four-page document they passed to us Thursday afternoon, we could only identify four changes from the Nov. 13 offer, and they weren’t significant

  • Boeing sweetened the pot with an additional $5,000 lump-sum bonus – payable in 2020. It is not a $15,000 bonus now, it is still a $10,000 bonus now.
  • Boeing increased annual maximum dental coverage – by $500 per person in 2020, and by another $500 per person in 2024.
  • Boeing promised to extend the Letter of Understanding that guarantees we will keep doing 737 MAX work until 2024 – but passed no contract language on it, leaving us uncertain of how solid that guarantee was.
  • Boeing agreed to back down from its plan to keep new hires in progression for up to 22 years, and to go back to the current system that gets new hires to the maximum rate in six years.Their proposal also called for a “joint evaluation” of the progression system.

Every other item was EXACTLY THE SAME as the offer you rejected Nov. 13.

I think you’ll agree these were very minor changes, and not nearly enough to offset the things Boeing was trying to take away from you, and for the Machinists who will join us in the future:

  • Freezing your pensions, eliminating them for new Machinists and replacing them with a “savings plan” so vague we couldn’t tell you anything about how it would work.
  • Raising everyone’s health care contributions by as much as $4,000 a year over 2011 levels by the end of the contract.
  • Limiting future wage increases to 1 percent every other year, and locking in current starting pay rates until 2024, when thousands of Boeing jobs would be below minimum wage.

Given that you had voted so overwhelmingly against an almost identical proposal on Nov. 13, I didn’t see any point in bringing it to you for a vote, and our Business Reps agreed with me.

So, until Boeing changes its conditions, we don’t have an offer to vote on.

I’m sorry that there has been confusion over this issue, especially by the reported comments of the retired leader from our International headquarters, who seems to be suggesting there’s still an offer hiding out there somewhere, just waiting for you to vote on. I understand that many of you are frustrated, and I don’t blame you.

I simply ask that you work together with me as we continue to make the case that Boeing’s best chance for success – by far – is to build the 777X here in Washington state, utilizing the skills, experience and dedication of the finest aerospace workers in the world: the Machinists of District 751.

In solidarity

Tom W.

5 Responses to “Wroblewski clarifies events surrounding Boeing offer”
  1. Carol Besk says:

    YOU DID THE RIGHT THING!! Thank You for rejecting this. They need to get serious and stop getting people even more worked up. The thought they think their employees are SO STUPID and aaaworthless to offer a delayed bonus and offer another contract of the same garbage is insulting. If we wanted a five year savings bond we”d go get one. Please stay strong and forge ahead. All the members are watching to see how much ” man stuff ” you posess. The message it sends is they don’t think their employees are worth much!! Every day we are exposed to various heath hazards to line this companys and excutives pockets. Hazards they’ll never have to be concerned about. Yet they think any old walmart worker can build these planes. I don’t think so. Please continue to fight for all of us!

  2. Dan Leeper says:

    In the near past I’ve been very critical of our union leadership. The people we voted in should be making the calls. That said if you deem this a NO vote I’ll stand by that. In 2016 work for a reasonable offer. In no way am I asking for our CEO’s and board”s percentages but lets just be fair. Help me help you, And as most of our membership, I’m a share holder too . I bleed Boeing blue and have for a long time. We can deliver the 777x on time and I hope the company knows it. If the don’t well then build the plane in N. Korea and deal with the customers issues.( All my stock will be long sold.) Bottom line, you’ll get what you pay for. Case in point; how much has SC made to date for Boeing?(Snap), I want the work to be done in this State (Wa.)but I’m not willing to accept the idea of working with the offer from Boeing at a time that there profits are at historic levels. Do you recall all the “take backs in the early 90’s, Boeing hurt and we slept to the plate and gave back. That’s how it should work,… Help me help you

  3. Eric Cuccarese says:

    The Fighting Machinist need to unite together as one. We can’t let Boeing break this union or weaken it in any shape or form. Boeing knows they have the best Aerospace Workers in the world in the state of Washington. If Boeing wants the 777X made in Washington, then they will present this Union with a FAIR contract with NO takeaways!!!. Local 751 IAM Member and Proud of it

  4. todd says:

    Thanks you Tom for sticking up for us, the membership. For being open, and thoughtful. I believe you have acted accordingly and in our best interest and it is MUCH appreciated.

  5. Ron Lambert says:

    Tom, your position on this issue is sound and the right position for the 33,ooo machinists. I applaud your stand. My father who is deceased built pension plans for firefighters in this state with the help of the legislature and Govenor Roselini. Why is our current governor not for pensions. I voted for him. This all sounds like union busting techniques. From: Ron Lambert retired Boeing and Triumph Machinist and IAM Health and Safety Rep. 1997 thru 2002. Phone: {509} 468-2958.

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