Rejection of the Yes vote
WIN Radio reports:
[Connie Kelliher]: “It’s really a corporate extortion plan by Boeing trying to make aerospace a race to the bottom. There was about seven to eight thousand members that didn’t vote on it and it was such a slim margin – 300 votes either way would have changed it. That means that about 37 1/2 percent of the members actually got to decide the fate for the next ten years which erases 78 years of collective bargaining history.”
IAM District 751 spokesperson Connie Kelliher. Many IAM District 751 Boeing machinists are very angry about the vote forced on them by their international union that destroyed defined benefit pensions, increased health care costs and in effect diminished wages. Some members have filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board and are demanding a re-vote when a true majority of IAM Boeing members would have a chance to cast ballots. Kelliher says due to members being away on holidays vacation about 25 percent of members didn’t vote on this concessionary contract proposal.
[Connie Kelliher 2]: “Members are very upset. There’s been a huge outcry since Friday’s vote was announced from the members calling for a re-vote. Our international president forced this vote under the guise of he wanted the members to have the final say on it. Well, if you want the members to have the final say, don’t pick a day where you know 25-30 percent of them are not available. A lot of people are very upset and have gone to the NLRB. They are passing around petitions that they want to call for a re-vote when truly a majority of the members could determine the fate. Our international president has said all along that he responds to hearing from the members. So right now the members are busy speaking up and letting him hear them.”
Kelliher says the contract Boeing forced on workers under threat of moving the production of the 777X airliner was corporate extortion that squeezed both the workers and $8.7 billion in tax concession from Washington state. And she says despite this being portrayed as giving up pensions and other concessions in return for guaranteed jobs there is no real iron-clad jobs guarantee for future Washington state union jobs from Boeing in the contract.
[Connie Kelliher 3]: “For a two-paragraph language giving us the airplane, the first sentence says we get the work and the next two paragraphs give them loopholes to move it. It not only gave up the defined benefit pension, it destroyed the health care, really. The premiums will go up three hundred percent by the end. Co-pays will double, all policies drop to ninety percent coverage on everything. In addition wage growth is cut by 75 percent from the current contract, which was only a two percent wage increase each year. It’ll now be one percent every other year, then it will go three years. And freezing our pension plan for the employees which is currently over-funded, Boeing put in language that once it’s frozen it can be merged with other plans and fund the executive plan, which is underfunded. ”
Meanwhile Boeing is making record profits, the CEO got a twenty percent raise last year and he has a pension that will pay him $265,000 a month when he retires and a supplemental pension on top of that. IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger was not available for an interview, but the international says the $8.7 billion in legislative incentives in Washington state are contingent on Boeing remaining in Puget Sound.