‘We must do better,’ says new District 751 president

Saying that “we must do better,” newly elected District 751 President Jon Holden announced dates for the first of a series of planned town hall meetings where he will take ideas from members of Machinists Union District Lodge 751 on the direction they want their union to go.

JonSwearHolden also announced that a general membership survey will be conducted in the next few weeks, as will advanced training courses for union stewards to “ensure the stewards have the tools they need to work the issues you’re facing in the shops today.”

The town hall meetings will be in Auburn on April 24 and Everett on April 30, he said. They’ll be scheduled to allow members working all three shifts at Boeing to attend, and Holden emphasized that Machinists who work for companies other than Boeing are invited as well.

“It’s my belief that our union can — and must — do a much better job of listening and reflecting the will of the members,” Holden said. “If you’ve got good ideas, I want to hear them, and we’ll take the best of your ideas and look for ways to put them into action.”

Holden’s comments are included in the current edition of the AeroMechanic newsletter, which is now available online.

Holden was elected and sworn in as the president and directing business representative for District 751 on March 6, receiving 76 percent of the votes cast in a three-way race.

He replaces Tom Wroblewski, who retired in January after nearly seven years in office.

The union has experienced a great deal of turmoil, Holden acknowledged. The two votes on Boeing’s 777X contract ultimatums left the union “split almost exactly down the middle,” he said, with 51 percent voting to accept Boeing’s offer on Jan. 3, while 49 percent voted to reject.

The experience has left a sour taste in everyone’s mouth, Holden acknowledged. “No matter how you voted on Jan. 3, none of our members who work at Boeing can be happy about losing our pensions, or the fact that we’re going to pay a lot more for our health care and get smaller raises in the future.”

But the union “can only work as long as we are united,” he continued. “We’ve got to find ways to come together in unity and collective purpose like never before.”

The town hall meetings, surveys and steward training are a part of that process, Holden said.

“My goal is to make District 751 the best damn union in America,” he said. “If we come together with a common goal, we will make it happen.”

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

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 32,000 working men and women at 50 employers across Washington, Oregon and California.

To contact a District 751 officer to learn how a union contract could benefit you, click here.



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