Unhappy with contract proposal, Boeing workers walk off the job

SEATTLE -- Thousands of Boeing workers briefly walked-off the job Friday to protest the company's latest contract extension proposed to members of 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 in the Pacific Northwest. The other, which includes $9 billion in tax breaks for Boeing, was approved Friday morning by the State House Finance Committee during a special session in Olympia.

Boeing officials say they need both or they could be forced to shop around 777X production to other areas of the country.

"It is not a very good deal at all, it's not," said union member Jone Tukama. "I think it's terrible."

Many union members say Boeing's extension 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.

"I would be losing like $300 a month," said union member Kim Melland after she read the proposed deal.

Others posted their disappointment on their union's Facebook page calling Boeing's proposal "extortion."

In response, Boeing's CEO of Commercial Airlines, Ray Conner, sent a letter to workers explaining the importance of hashing out a deal to keep 777X production at their Everett plant.

"I urge you to take the time to fully understand this proposal, and to talk with your family to determine how this affects our future," said Conner. "We want the union and company to have a long and prosperous future together."

The machinists union is scheduled to vote on the contract extension proposal next Wednesday. A Senate committee is scheduled to take up their half of Boeing's proposal next week.