Just hours after Governor Jay Inslee signed a series of tax incentives for Boeing into law, hundreds of Machinists gathered at the Everett union hall Monday to protest a proposed agreement between the company and union.
Under the agreement, Boeing would build the 777X in Everett in exchange for significant changes to employee health and retirement benefits.
Many Machinists have panned the deal that IAM District 751 President Tom Wroblewski called “crap” as he ripped up a copy at a meeting with members last week.
“This is about unity today,” said one member at the rally. “We’re all going to go together. We’re all going to turn this thing down with a resounding majority and send the message we can compromise but you can’t compromise our principles.”
The deal would extend the current contract through 2024. Critics say the increased health care premiums and change from a pension to a 401k retirement plan isn’t worth it. And some say Boeing is bluffing when it says it will take the 777X somewhere else if the Machinists don’t approve the deal Wednesday.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner told reporters after the bill signing Wednesday in Seattle the company is serious.
“It’s not a bluff,” Conner said. “My sincere hope is we don’t have to even think about that.”
“We fought long and hard for everything we have at this point we’re not willing to give it up,” said another member at the rally. “We have gone on strikes for months for contracts that are way better than this. There’s no way we can take this. There’s no way we are selling out our younger members, absolutely not.”