In the news...

November 15, 2013

Boeing machinists reject contract proposal

Mike Baker
Associated Press

Boeing machinists in the Northwest rejected a contentious contract proposal Wednesday that would have exchanged concessions for decades of secure jobs.

The International Association of Machinists District 751 announced Nov. 13 that the proposal was rejected by 67 percent of the votes.

Some union members had called for a no vote, protesting Boeing’s push to end a traditional pension plan and increase their health care costs. Workers would have received a $10,000 signing bonus if they approved the deal.

We preserved something sacred by rejecting the Boeing proposal. We’ve held on to our pensions and that’s big. At a time when financial planners are talking about a `retirement crisis’ in America, we have preserved a tool that will help our members retire with more comfort and dignity, said Tom Wroblewski, District 751 president in a statement.

Boeing had proposed the eight-year contract extension, saying it needs the deal to assemble the new 777X in Washington state. With the threat of those jobs going to another state, lawmakers rushed to approve $8.7 billion in tax breaks last week.

…without the terms of this contract extension, we’re left with no choice but to open the process competitively and pursue all options for the 777X, Boeing said in a statement.

Gov. Jay Inslee said ahead of the vote that he wanted the machinists to know that the package of incentives doesn’t just protect taxpayers but it also protects workers.

In a late night press conference Nov. 13, Inslee said the rejection means that Washington will have to compete with other states. He said Washington could have won the production of the plane without competition.

Dian Lord, a toolmaker at Boeing’s facility in Renton who is nearing retirement, said Wednesday morning she believed the company was extorting its workers by pushing a swift contract vote while threatening to place 777X operations elsewhere if machinists don’t oblige. Still, Lord said she felt intense pressure to vote for the contract, especially considering that it could impact a variety of other Boeing workers and vendors should the company move elsewhere.

I’m very conflicted, Lord said.

Political leaders, including many Democrats who are closely aligned with unionized workers, declined in recent days to encourage machinists how to vote but asked them to consider the broader impact on jobs and future generations. IAM leaders issued a similar message, with Wroblewski saying the vote is about 30 years of jobs for the region.

This is an opportunity we will never see again to secure thousands of good-paying jobs in the State of Washington, Wroblewski wrote in a message to members before the vote.

Ray Conner, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said earlier this week that the company was not bluffing in its message that the 777X line could be placed elsewhere. He said the company prefers to stay in the Puget Sound and that a positive vote by the union makes that decision easy.

Along with extending tax breaks to 2040, lawmakers this past weekend also approved millions of dollars for training programs for aerospace workers. Lawmakers have also said that Boeing supports the development of a large transportation package, and the Legislature is still exploring a plan valued at about $10 billion.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 
 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 

Headlines May 20, 2015

News: Top secret X-37B space plane blasts off on fourth mission - One of the most mysterious craft ever to go into orbit blasted off on a top secret mission this morning.   Business: R&D budget request rises for U.S. Special Operations - The leadership of U.S. Special Operations Command said the force and its acquisitions –...
 

 

News Briefs May 20, 2015

North Korea ‘many years’ from developing submarine missile A top U.S. military officer says North Korea is many years away from being able to launch ballistic missiles from a submarine. But vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. James Winnefeld, said May 19 such missiles could eventually present a hard-to-detect danger to...
 
 

House panel approves $578.6 billion for defense spending

The House panel that decides defense spending approved a $578.6 billion blueprint May 19 that fully funds a 2.3 percent pay raise for military men and women, prevents the retirement of the A-10 aircraft that protects ground troops and funds the U.S. fight against terrorism. The spending bill, which mirrors the broad defense policy bill...
 
 

News Briefs May 18, 2015

Military leaders gather in Hawaii to talk amphibious skills Amphibious military capabilities are on the agenda as the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy host defense leaders from around the Pacific in Hawaii this week. The first-of-its kind meeting comes as territorial disputes over islands grow more heated in the region. U.S. treaty allies Japan and...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>