Tag Archives: Everett

Letter’s To CEO’s :Dear Mr Conner

From: Ramsey, S Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 3:39 PM

To: Ray Conner Cc: machinists@iam751.org

Subject: RE: Update on 777X site selection

Dear Mr Conner:

Your letter confirms the IAM’s position that a requirement was made of them to endorse the now rejected offer as a pre-condition.

Regardless of the merits or shortcomings of that offer, the president of IAM 751 could not, in good conscience comply with that demand.

Neither was it fair or just for you to place such a condition on one man. When Boeing did that, it ceased to be a contract negotiation. It ceased to be a mere business deal. It became an effort to exercise unfair and undue influence by the application of pressure on one man, Tom Wroblewski, who, along with his team, are my elected representatives.

That provision was coercive. It was unfair. It was intimidation. In spite of the reported atmosphere of cordiality.

I would point you to this bullet point from the company code of conduct:

“•I will observe fair dealing in all of my transactions and interactions”

In my view, this has not taken place. Neither has any sort of good faith bargaining taken place since the first offer was voted down.

I would urge you to reconsider your position, and return to negotiations with a true spirit of good faith bargaining.

Steve Ramsey


Everyone needs to send Mr. Conner a reply to his ridiculous letter…. Here is mine.

Everyone needs to send Mr. Conner a reply to his ridiculous letter…. Here is mine.

From: Falkowski, Robert J
Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 10:05 AM
To: Ray Conner
Subject: RE: Update on 777X site selection

Mr. Conner,

As a Union member and an AMT on the 787 flightline in Everett, (which is a total manufacturing debacle.) I find your letter quite insulting.

Firstly, the reason I say that is for the simple fact you have shown you have no respect for the people that have worked days, weekends and many months doing what we do to rescue the 787 program. We have bent over backwards to help this company dig itself out of the hole that the 787 has created. I personally have spent my holidays here and more weekend than I care to imagine doing my best to help turn the program around.

As a company your greatest asset is the people that produce the products you sell and without them you have no product or company. I shouldn’t need to tell you that, but it seems as if you don’t see it that way. The entire process you have created with the 777X is far from any “Working Together” or any type of proactive company/ employee relation program the company preaches to make the company more successful.

Secondly, if in fact what you say is true, why didn’t you and your leadership team collaborate with the assets that currently build the products that make this company successful and ask us!? Ask us what we can do to create a competitive environment to beat the competition and again become the world class commercial plane manufacture in the world. You Mr. Conner chose the contrary. You secretly met and negotiated with individuals who have no idea what it takes to build an airplane let alone how to make the company more successful. I find that disrespectful.

Instead, we have now been put into a position of coercion and a take it or leave it scenario. You have basically destroyed any positive relationship that existed or would have ever existed. The years it will take to mend that relationship can only be estimated in decades.

Lastly, I would think a person who began as an IAM member would have more compassion toward the entity that helped you become successful. I find this whole contract situation unbelievable and outrageous.


Robert J. Falkowski

In support of a Better Vision for our Future

From: darrell To: jim.mcnerney@boeing.com; raymond.l.conner@boeing.com; tomw@iam751.org Subject: In support of a Better Vision for our Future Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2013 13:20:20 -0800

Mr. McNerney and Mr. Conner,


Every relationship is built on a foundation of “Trust”. How we behave in one aspect of our life carries over into other areas. Trust is just one of a number of building blocks that help to define our personal character and in your case as Presidents of Boeing, our Corporate Character. We are all asked to renew our commitment to the Boeing Company Ethical Business Conduct for All Boeing Employees every year. The long term image your building for this great Company is affected by how you both act with our customers, vendors, politicians and with the Union. You see, this battle is defining public opinion and your demonstrating poor behavior and the public and our customers are watching.  There is a reason we don’t allow bullying in our schools and we should never allow it in the workplace. These behaviors erode trust and set a bad precedent for those to follow.

 This fight you’ve created with the Union will ultimately define your legacy. Even if you win you will ultimately lose. The Pension, you’re fighting so hard to remove as a benefit is the thread that holds this delicate fabric together. Our “Pension drives our loyalty” it is what allows us to tolerate, exceptionally poor leadership at the lower levels, incomplete drawings, parts shortages, lack of vision, lack of inspiration, and lack of accountability at all levels and still show up, do our best work and deliver a quality product.  I urge you both to better understand the implications of what you are asking, because if you are successful, your legacy will ultimately reflect your “winning” as the main reason for Boeing’s long term market decline. While we’re on the topic, the Union isn’t the reason for declining market share, you are.

 There is so much low hanging fruit, opportunities to streamline and create efficiencies. If you invested as much time in solving our issues in house as you are lobbying against Union benefits you would be farther ahead. For example: You are both responsible for the Boeing Company being so top heavy  13 support and leadership people for every 1 mechanic. We lack accountability in all areas of our business, we pay extortionist rates for our parts and fasteners, we engineer an airplane a couple of times instead of doing it right the first time, our business is rooted in the past with processes that have not been updated in 30 years, we don’t manage to the processes already established with the Union, we don’t leverage technology, we promote from within even when applicants don’t demonstrate proper competencies, we are way behind the automation curve (we still pick parts by hand, etc.), and leadership practices are outdated and don’t reflect the needs of a younger workforce or women. We haven’t reorganized in years to better align our strengths to the needs of the business. I could go on and on with the challenges we face moving forward.

 Mr. McNerney and Mr. Conner, I strongly encourage you to rethink your strategy, create a better vision for our future for our employees and the overall long term success of our business. We need you to do better, inspire more, and reach higher than you are today. We need you to inspire our customers, politicians, vendors and employees by working together with the Union to find a reasonable solution. Demonstrate through your actions how Corporate Leaders should behave. Work with the Unions to show the rest of the America how we can partner for a better tomorrow for all involved. Push people out of their comfort level, challenge the status quo and give us something we can really support and believe in. Partner with us to reinvent what a Union is in today’s workforce! Help us move toward a more performance based culture where both sides win!


 Darrell Martin

Explantion of Upcoming Elections Process

Sisters and Brothers, I have summarized the nomination and election process as best I could below, please advise of any questions or concerns you may have with my version although I believe it is quite accurate.

Lastly, the DOL had initially sought that Notice be provided to all members by mail no later than November 22, 2013.  Par the course, our IP through legal arguments and subterfuge sought to and successfully delayed the sending of notice to December 11, 2013, at this point I have no way to confirm, nor deny, that it has been sent, we should all know in a day or two.

On August 15, 2013, International President R. Thomas Buffenbarger, in an unprecedented and historically shameful submission of authority, entered into a “Voluntary Compliance Agreement” with the U. S. Department of Labor.  This action is quite comparable to taking a plea deal in a court of law.  Doing so allows the perpetrator, Buffenbarger, to avoid the prospect of a Federal Judge vacating the sham Nomination and Election procedure of 2013, and with it a judicial ruling to overturn the illegitimate election results that followed, in exchange for an agreement to undue the wrongs by holding a “new” nomination and election process.  Furthermore, under the terms of the “Voluntary Compliance Agreement, the IP waives the authority vested in him, per the IAM Constitution, and in its place allows the Department of Labor to set and approve the terms of both the Nomination procedure and ultimately the general election, which, in this case should follow in April.

The Nomination Election process as mandated by the DOL will be as follows:

On January 25th, every IAM Local Lodge will hold “special” nomination meetings.  These meetings will be open 6:00a, to 8:00am and again at 6:00pm to 8:00pm.  The purpose of these “special” meetings is to accept nominations only, no other business will come before the lodge.  No quorum is required, no second to a nomination needed.  Any member in good standing may submit nominations for any candidate(s) of their choice.  Those nominating will need only the nominee(s) name, position they are seeking, card/book #, and their local lodge #.

In local lodges where more than the required number of candidates are nominated, “special” endorsement meetings will be held on February 8, 2014.  Once again, these “endorsement” meetings will be open from 6:00am to 8:00am and again from 6:00pm to 8:00pm and only for the purpose of conducting a secret ballot vote of all eligible members to determine who the “endorsed” nominee(s) of the lodge will be.  The candidates with the highest plurality of votes will be the endorsed nominee of the local.

All candidates for Executive Council positions must receive the nomination/endorsement of a minimum of 25 local lodges in order to appear on the ballot for the general election to be held in April of 2014.My reference to April is per the IAM Constitution, please keep in mind the DOL has the authority to change that date and the method of voting (unlikely though possible) per the waiver of authority contained in the “Voluntary Compliance Agreement” entered into by IP Buffenbarger.

Click here to view additional info…  PDFDOL

Please Visit https://www.facebook.com/rosiesmachinists751 for more information! There you will find additional details and information! Please share and spread the word it is going to take all of our participation to get this message out to as many members in (not just the 751 but all of

In Unity,


AM) as possible! Time is limited !


An Up-Close Look at R. Thomas Buffenbarger

Machinist Union members will vote soon on whether to keep Tom Buffenbarger as their International President. I worked with and for Buffenbarger for 15 years, and I want to share some personal experiences that argue strongly for giving him the boot:

An Up-Close Look at R. Thomas Buffenbarger

By Matt Bates, 12/10/2013

Former IAM Communications Representative and Headquarters Shop Steward

My first insight into the character of “R. Thomas Buffenbarger” came in 1989. I had been sent to Seattle, Washington by the IAM Communications Department to support a strike by 50,000 aerospace Machinists at the Boeing Company. The Boeing machinists had worked six years without a general wage increase and they were determined to get a raise. These were the “Reagan years” and there were very few strikes—and even fewer successful ones. Most unions were busy granting concessions. But our members were standing up and refusing to bend. They had launched the largest strike in IAM history.
About one a month into the strike, I flew east for a few days and met with Tom Buffenbarger, then administrative assistant to Headquarters Vice President George Kourpias. “How are things going out there?” Buffenbarger asked me. “Tom, they are going great,” I replied. “The members are standing…” But he interrupted me, literally screaming: “Things are NEVER going great when 50,000 Machinist members are on strike!” And he went on about the tremendous drain on the strike fund.
I knew there was often a disconnect between top union leaders and the grassroots members, but nothing had prepared me for this. I was intensely proud of the Boeing Machinists, and of the work we were doing to support their fight. I left Buffenbarger’s office thinking, “What an ___hole!” But I left badly shaken, too. It is unnerving when someone screams in your face. And it is unnerving to hear a leader of your union voice hostility towards such an important strike.
I had another memorable encounter with Buffenbarger in 1992, after I was elected shop steward for the IAM Headquarters staff. Every week, the International President (IP), the General Secretary-Treasurer, and their department heads would meet to discuss the work of the union. Our new IP, George Kourpias, had adopted a more favorable position towards worker participation in management (so-called High Performance Work Organizations). So, I suggested that headquarters staff members be included in the weekly meetings to involve us more in the life of the organization. When I first raised the idea with Buffenbarger, he looked me in the eye and said, “Matt, wouldn’t that be like letting the monkeys run the zoo?” At first, I thought he was joking but it quickly became clear he was not. The “monkeys running the zoo” phrase is used to parody the most anti-union, Neanderthal employers. No one really talks like that, at least not openly. Or so I had believed.
Things came to a head in 2002, when Buffenbarger (now International President) hired his boyhood friend, Rick Sloan, to direct the IAM Communications Department. Sloan had a habit of yelling and swearing at communication staff members, even in the halls where the whole building could hear. After one such incident, I drafted a mass grievance that every member of the department signed, demanding an end to the abusive behavior. Sloan and I had been butting heads so often that I asked a co-worker (who was on decent terms with Sloan) to actually present him with the grievance. I didn’t want the grievance to seem like part of a personal vendetta.
The following day, I attended a grievance meeting with Sloan and Headquarters VP Bob Thayer. I felt then (and still do) that Thayer was giving me a fair hearing. He seemed genuinely disturbed by Sloan’s behavior. Suddenly, Thayer’s office door flew open, and Buffenbarger burst in. He was screaming, turning red and purple, waving his arms, and talking so rapidly I could barely make out the words. I do recall that he called me disloyal and gutless. (He called me “gutless” for not personally filing the grievance with Sloan.) That very afternoon, I was written up by the IAM for insubordination.
I can’t think of a more blatant violation of worker rights—a more obvious retaliation for protected activity—than threatening to fire someone immediately after they file a grievance. Sloan and Buffenbarger justified their actions by reaching back several weeks to an incident that took place (ironically!) during another strike at Boeing. I was working in Seattle, and I had studiously ignored slogans and “talking points” emailed by Sloan from his office back east that were badly out of synch with the situation on the ground. My actions did, in fact, constitute insubordination. I freely admit that. But they certainly didn’t rise to the level of a termination offense. And the timing of the discipline—coming weeks later, on the very day I filed a grievance—was suspicious, to put it mildly. When I reviewed my personnel file in the GST’s office, I found not a single negative comment of any kind, from anyone, for my entire 14 years at Headquarters. But there I was, facing termination.*
I do not write this to settle old scores, or to clear the record. I moved on long ago.
I write this to document, from first-hand experience, how R. Thomas Buffenbarger operates “behind the scenes,” when the video cameras are off and the members aren’t around. Buffenbarger doesn’t act much like a unionist in private. He acts like a bully, and uses whatever underhanded tactics he thinks he can get away with.
Now that IAM members are openly questioning Buffenbarger’s fitness to lead, we are going to see a lot of that ugly behavior. Watch this campaign closely. Jay Cronk, Karen Asunscion, other candidates, and those who support them will be called every name in the book. They will be accused of every sort of heinous act, smeared, threatened, and punished.
But IAM members are accustomed to fighting arrogant, power-crazed bosses. We know how to do that. If we must fight the bullies inside our union, too, then so be it. And let the chips fall where they may.
* Matt Bates resigned from the IAM International in March 2003 to become Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label and Service Trades Department. He currently teaches communications at Trinity Washington University in the District of Columbia.