IAM-Boeing strikers try to shift the blame

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Union Bigs duck responsibility for walkout

Boeing Machinists are trying to make a case to federal labor officials that Boeing broke the law in its negotiations tactics for a failed contract with the union.

About 27,000 Machinists have been on strike against the aerospace company since Sept. 6, after the union and Boeing couldn't agree on a new three-year labor contract. The walkout has shut down Boeing's jet factories around the Puget Sound area. Union officials and members, however, are busy providing statements to the National Labor Relations Board on the Machinists' unfair labor complaint.

Boeing officials deny any wrongdoing in their negotiations with the Machinists.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers filed an unfair labor practices complaint in late August against Boeing, just as members were preparing to vote on the company's final contract offer. The union alleged that Boeing engaged in an "unlawful secret strategy to avoid the union and deal directly with employees." Direct dealing with workers represented by a union is prohibited by the National Labor Relations Board.

District 751 President Tom Wroblewski already has testified before the labor board on the union's allegations. And this week, "hundreds of members" have been testifying about the complaint, Connie Kelliher, union spokeswoman, said on Wednesday. The members claim Boeing managers interrogated them on contract proposals or put pressure on them to accept the company's offer. The labor board is investigating to determine whether to go forward with the case.

Boeing officials have not been asked to testify with the labor board, said Tim Healy, Boeing spokesman.

"The National Labor Relations Board will contact us when they want our response," Healy said.

Should the board uphold the complaint, it would prevent Boeing from hiring permanent replacements for the striking Machinists -- an unlikely scenario anyway, given the skills and training required for Machinists' positions. A win with the labor board could help striking Machinists who are seeking unemployment benefits. State unemployment officials have said workers on strike do not qualify for unemployment, under Washington law.

The union will distribute the first of $150 weekly strike checks to area union members on Saturday at the Evergreen Fairgrounds in Monroe.



Anonymous said...

With everything that is going on in todays economy you should be happy to have a great job.

Unions were created for a good reason, yet know only create pain. Greed on the part of the union. Fair wages for fair work.

Stop being so greedy and go back to work. Unions are corrupting the U.S. worker. They create a warped sense of entitlement. Be realistic, look at your job responsibilities and honestly tell me you are not paid better than fair!!!!

Get back to work.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Stop being so greedy, go back to work.

I like the comment "warped sense of entitlement." Just like state and federal employees and the teachers unions.

If I was the CEO of Boeing who values his employees, I would make a very fair offer. If the strike continued, I would replace each person (yet this is not possible).

Go back to work please.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to get back to work, but the biggest reason we're out is the threat of losing our jobs. 20 years ago we had somewhere around 57,000 people in the Union. There were many rounds of layoffs untill 9/11 cut the ranks to about 19,000. Today we are at almost 28,000 members and building as many airplanes as we did 20 years ago. So what happened to those 29,000 jobs? Outsourcing. Those 29,000 jobs are now overseas or staffed by non-union companies at 1/2 the pay. I've seen numbers that 70% of the work in the company that should be Union is outsourced. Not a good trend.
Now look at the 787, most of the airplane is built overseas or at non-union facilities. It's the test case for the rest of the factory. If they make this fly, you'll see existing airplane models being outsourced as fast as they can write up the contracts. We just want a fair way to keep the jobs in company so we can keep building the finest airplanes in the world.
I don't see it as greed (the media has done a great job of making us look this way focusing on the pay raises and bonuses and ignoring the take-aways in medical and job security), I see it as self-preservation.

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