The Boeing vs. Machinists Plot Thickens

I don’t know, it all seems so scripted to me. IP woos Boeing on plans to build new 777X, makes known the desire for IAM members at Boeing to gain the work and expresses a clear willingness to “work” with Boeing to achieve that goal. Sporadic talks are held around the country specific to costs, allegedly to enable our research department to prepare our negotiators. After only three or so full days of direct discussion and negotiation, on a very complex deal that will impact and affect related negotiations across the country for years to come, the IP (behind the scenes) demands a substandard, concessionary proposal, to extend a contract already in place with nearly three years of term remaining, be put to a vote. This despite majority opposition from the negotiating committee to do so.

Boeing launches a PR campaign the theme of which questions the very survival of the Puget Sound region, along with tens of thousand of jobs, should the IAM members at Boeing reject the deal. Despite this unremitting and unwarranted pressure from all sides; Boeing, the community, the state, and the International, our members courageously reject a $10,000.00 bribe, not to mention front loaded and short term pension and 401(k) payments, and chose to make a stand for middle class jobs with a fair rate progression and a secure retirement attached.

Like a rejected suitor Boeing plays the field, seducing states across the country with the promise of stable, long term middle class jobs and all they want is a few billion in tax incentives, etc. Now with a reported 22 states in the mix the drum beat and pressure will intensify. Despite the fact that perhaps 75% of those state offers or proposals are more than likely just fluff, add the fact that come close to the 8.7 billion dollar offer passed by WA legislature and that none can match the production and economic value of building the 777X in the Puget Sound region! Boeing will nonetheless nefariously use them to escalate and promote the “threat” of loss to the state, community and our members. Renewed talks break off after what, two days, with the union taking a defiant stance against an apparently improved, not perfect, but rumored to be (significantly) improved proposal without a vote of the membership. The plot thickens!

What comes next? I think the script will see our savior, IP Buffenbarger (who’s groveling at the feet of Boeing created the mess to begin with) swooping in to demand, this time publicly, that the membership have a say in the matter, and be allowed, in the IAM tradition, to vote on Boeing’s “final”, “final” offer. The outcome, unknown.

Despite the complexity and long term effect of this vote, I suspect you will be denied a reasonable period of time to fully analyze the complete terms of the proposed agreement. If I can be of any assistance please don’t hesitate to call on me, I will do whatever I can to assist you. As I do not, as they say, have a dog in this fight, it would be unfair for me to form an opinion or support a yes or no vote, that decision is rightly vested with the membership of DL 751. I can only wish you all Godspeed in your deliberations in the days to come and may the will of the majority prevail.

In Unity,
Jay Cronk


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