Union Orders 777X Vote
The headquarters of the International Association of Machinists has overruled local leaders in Seattle and ordered a vote on Boeing's latest contract offer to guarantee production of its new 777X in Washington. The vote will be held Jan. 3. As we reported last week, the Puget Sound leadership rejected Boeing's Dec. 12 offer without a membership vote and Boeing resumed shopping around for locations to build the aircraft. Boeing said Saturday that if the union membership votes in favor of the contract, it will stop looking around and honor the terms of the deal. Local union leaders are strongly recommending members reject the deal.
"Because of the massive take-aways, the union is adamantly recommending members reject this offer," the local leaders said in a message on their website, adding that the vote was ordered "over objections of 751's elected officials." Pension contributions have been the major issue upsetting the union. In a Nov. 13 vote on a previous offer, the union membership rejected the deal by a two-to-one margin but Boeing's immediate and well-publicized search for alternative locations may have caused some second thoughts. Some workers staged a march to press for a vote last week but few showed up.