A District 751 Leader Looks at the Jan 3 Boeing Contract

by Jason Redrup

A group of Boeing workers  to vote down a surprise mid-contract concessionary agreement. Photo: Jim Levitt.

A group of Boeing workers to vote down a surprise mid-contract concessionary agreement. Photo: Jim Levitt.

Earlier this year, members at District 751 endured a devastating loss to our solidarity and the benefits we had fought decades to secure because of the actions of our International leadership. If what happened at 751 goes unchallenged, it will set a dangerous pattern for other contracts across the country. My goal is to ensure what happened in Seattle, doesn’t happen to another group of Machinists.

Even though we had a contract in place through 2016 and our District strongly objected, our International ordered a vote on a concessionary offer be held on Jan. 3rd knowing thousands of union members would be on vacation and unable to vote. This vote was ordered after many members had already begun their holidays, and the International refused to move the vote just one business day. With nearly 8,000 members not voting, we are now forced to live under a contract that eliminated pensions for all, more than doubles health care costs, slows wage growth by 75 percent and keeps us from returning to the bargaining table until 2024. This came not when Boeing was hurting, but enjoying record profits and backlogs. Continue reading

Boeing Workers Take a Stand & Take the Heat

by Carl Finamore

Carl Finamore

Carl Finamore

Local IAM District 751 union leaders in the state of Washington are feeling the fallout of Boeing’s extremely well-orchestrated counteroffensive begun immediately after Nov. 13 when 67% of union members rejected the company’s concessionary contract extension through 2024 of an existing agreement that does not actually expire until 2016.

Everyone expected Boeing would turn up the heat by threatening economic catastrophe for the Puget Sound area and thousands of lost jobs but these unionists were blindsided from a most unexpected source.

The IAM international, overruling local leadership, abruptly announced a Jan. 3 vote of another extension agreement eerily similar to the one that had just been rejected.

District 751’s website reported “International President R. Thomas Buffenbarger ordered the vote over objections of 751’s elected officials… and announced the Jan. 3rd vote to the Seattle Times on Saturday, Dec. 21.” Continue reading

New Documents Show Charleston was Boeing’s riskiest option

Machinist News

Newly uncovered Boeing Co. documents show the company’s own executives believed that “Project Gemini”– their plan to establish a second 787 line in South Carolina – was the highest-risk option for their new Dreamliner jet and the one most likely to fail.

At the same time, a report by a public interest research group shows that Boeing follows a deliberate strategy of boosting profits by squeezing taxpayers for handouts in South Carolina, Washington and other states.

The Project Gemini documents and the report on Boeing’s tax strategy were released by Machinists Union District Lodge 751 Friday at the International Labor Communicators Association’s convention in Seattle.

“The Project Gemini documents prove what we’ve suspected all along – that Boeing moved to Charleston to punish our members for exercising their union rights,” said Connie Kelliher, a spokeswoman for District 751.

Continue reading