Aerospace reporter Dominic Gates pointed out in The Seattle Times Sunday that everything Boeing has demanded of states that want the 777X already exist in Everett: the subcontractors, land for expansion, tax breaks, a streamlined permit process, and a trained, solid work force.
The one thing that doesn’t exist is labor peace.
One long-time machinist says he wrote a letter to Boeing CEO Jim McNerney saying he’ll vote against the latest offer on Jan. 3, but also made it clear he likes his job, and appealed to McNerney to negotiate a reasonable agreement so that the workers can “go bust some aviation sales and production records.”
Based on the notes I’ve gotten from Machinists, McNerney himself is part of the reason for this stand-off. Union members can’t accept the idea that he stands to get a pension of $265,575 a month if he retires now, while at the same times he’s asking to cut their benefits.
They also claim that the company would use the money in the employee pension plan to make the executive pension plan solvent.
Which makes me think that if McNerney wants to move the needle, he could announce that he and his other top execs are willing to take a dose of their own medicine, and in the interest of the company’s long-term economic health, number one, guarantee that no, they are not going to raid the employee pension fund, and number two, cut their own pensions to instead of $265,000 a month, maybe $50,000 a month – which is still pretty generous – and see if that makes a difference in the vote.