SEATTLE Jan 6 Some Boeing Co machinists
are set to push for a recount or even a new vote on the
plane-maker's latest labor contract, according to one source,
possibly extending a long-running drama over which state will
get to work on Boeing's new 777X jet.
The issue appeared decided late on Friday when local
machinists voted very narrowly in favor of the contract,
apparently securing thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of
economic activity for Washington state, but at the cost of union
members' defined-benefit pensions.
Some members of the International Association of Machinists
District 751 plan to rally at the union hall in Everett,
Washington on Monday afternoon, said a source close to the
union, calling for a recount of the narrow vote or a completely
new vote. Local union lodges plan to discuss the issue when they
meet over the next three days. The source did not want to be
named because it was not authorized to speak publicly.
Arguments over the contract, which was passed by a bare 51
percent majority of machinists on Friday, exposed rifts in the
Younger workers tended to favor the deal, whereas older
workers were more hostile as they had fought for the pension in
the past and many are close to retirement. Boeing's offer would
cap the pension in 2016 and replace it with a
defined-contribution plan. The national leadership of the IAM
was also in favor of the contract, overruling opposition by the
local District 751.
About 600 votes separated yes from no, union officials said
on Friday. About 8,000 of the 31,000 eligible union members did
Had the workers rejected the offer, Boeing would have
considered making the successor to its popular 777 widebody jet
elsewhere, and had received offers from 22 states interested in
hosting the new factory.