SEATTLE — About 20,000 Boeing machinists in the Puget Sound area are voting Wednesday on an eight-year contract extension the company says it needs to assemble the new 777x in Washington.
Some union members of International Association of Machinists District 751 have called for a no vote, protesting concessions Boeing wants in pension and health benefits. President Tom Wroblewski called it an emotional decision but said members should consider what’s best for their families.
Most of the members who arrived at the union hall in Everett early Wednesday morning indicated they were planning to vote no. Signs were posted on car windshields in the parking lot that read “Just say no” and “Don’t be fooled.”
“I want to keep my pension. I want to be able to retire from this great company and be able to actually have a living,” said one worker.
“It’s a terrible deal. Corporate America trying to break the unions. It’s a no. No vote,” said another.
But a no vote was not going to be unanimous.
“It’s been working better the last several years. There haven’t been the layoffs,” said anotehr worker. “I’m accepting it.”
On Monday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation passed in a special session of the Washington Legislature giving tax breaks to Boeing as part of the 777x deal. They are valued at $9 billion through 2040.