Boeing Machinists rally against contract proposal
EVERETT, Wash. -- Boeing workers rallied in front of their union headquarters in Everett Monday afternoon calling for workers to vote "no" on a contract extension proposed by the company to the International Association of Machinists.
The extension is part of a deal struck between Boeing's top brass and Governor Jay Inslee to keep production of the 777X here in the Pacific Northwest. Governor Jay Inslee signed the other part of the deal into law Monday morning. The bill, approved during a special Saturday session of the legislature, gives Boeing $9 billion in tax breaks if union workers agree to the proposed extension.
Boeing explains they need both or they could be forced to shop around 777X production to other areas of the country.
"We would prefer not to do that - really, we would prefer not to do that - we'll just have to see," says Boeing CEO of Commercial Airplanes, Ray Conner.
Many union members say Boeing's extension, which would last 8 years starting in 2016, is loaded with too many takeaways, including less health coverage and less wage increases. However, their biggest concern is replacing Boeing's pension plan with a 401k.
Senator Patty Murray added her concern for Boeing and Boeing workers if they fail to work out a deal.
"Building the 777X here means jobs for a long time to come," said Murray. "Every family will have to look at the offer and decide for themselves."
The union will vote on the contract extension Wednesday. Boeing says they'll have to make a decision in the next month whether to build the 777X somewhere else.