Machinists challenge Boeing vote in Seattle

Jan. 11, 2014 at 11:17 AM
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SEATTLE, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Boeing machinists in Seattle are demanding their union revisit the vote that narrowly approved of an eight-year contract that secured work through giveaways.

Avionics Intelligence reported Saturday that some members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers are calling for a recount of last week's ballots, that ended with 51 percent approval of the contract District 751 President Tom Wroblewski once tore up and denounced, saying he would not even put it up for a vote.

Other union members are calling for a re-vote on the contract, while others have filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, which confirmed this week that it was investigating the vote for improprieties.

Some union members have claimed that union leaders tampered with the results of the vote.

Boeing, meanwhile, said it was preparing to send the first $10,000 of a $15,000 signing bonus stipulated in the contract.

The checks would be sent out in the week ending Jan. 25, the company said. The next $5,000 is not due to be sent out until 2020.

The controversial contract committed Boeing to supplying its facilities in the area with years of work. But some said the giveaways were too steep.

"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," the Machinist News quoted Wroblewski as saying.

"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 healthcare costs we'll have to pay each year," he said.

"Now it's up to all of us to pull together to make this airplane program successful," Wroblewski also said.

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