51 percent of Machinists say yes to Boeing proposal
SEATTLE — Machinists Union members have voted to accept the Boeing Co.‘s proposed eight-year contract with a 51-percent yes vote.
“Our members have spoken and this is the course we’ll take,” said Tom Wroblewski, the president of Machinists Union District Lodge 751 represents more than 30,000 hourly workers at Boeing plants in Puget Sound. Machinists Union members who work for Boeing in Portland, Ore., and Wichita, Kansas, also voted.
The decision means Boeing will stop seeking alternate sites for its 777X aircraft program, the latest version of its best-selling widebody jet, and start preparations to start final assembly and wing fabrication in Puget Sound.
The union’s goal in the coming years will be to ensure Boeing lives up to its commitment to its workforce and keeps jobs in Washington state,” Wroblewski said.
The vote to accept the contract came even though Wroblewski and the District 751 leadership team had unanimously recommended that union members reject Boeing’s offer, which included steep concessions on retirement and health care benefits, and limits on future wage growth.
“All along we knew that our members wanted to build that 777X, and that it was in Boeing’s best interest to have them do it,” he said. “We recommended that our members reject the offer, because we felt that the cost was too high, in terms of our lost pensions and the thousands of dollars in additional health care costs we’ll have to pay each year.
“Now it’s up to all of us to pull together to make this airplane program successful. I’m confident we will do that, because as we’ve said all along, this is the most-skilled aerospace workforce in the world.”