10/2/08

IAM strike bigs still being paid by Boeing

Related: "IAM strike fund depleted for political uses"
IAM-Boeing stories: hereMore strike stories: here
"Nation gets a preview of Barackonomics" • "Trickle down strike-onomics"

Union dues get squandered on politics

It’s day 26 of the strike, and the union leaders are still receiving a paycheck.

Each morning when I’ve written about the Boeing Machinists, and sometimes when I have not, I get the same voice message on my phone. The same reader calls each time with the same complaint: he’s not getting a paycheck during the strike and thinks that union leaders should give up their pay. And he's not the only Machinist who thinks that way.

I asked Machinists’ spokeswoman Connie Kelliher about this last week. She pointed out that Machinists’ leaders negotiate dozens of contracts, meaning they’re at risk of seeing more than the one strike every three years that most members face. Union officials also are still working full time while the 27,000 Boeing Machinists are out on strike. As frequently as I’ve called Kelliher in the last three weeks, I can tell you that much is true.

On Monday, district president Tom Wroblewski posted this update to the Machinists’ Web site:



Union leaders also are talking daily with the federal mediator, should negotiations with Boeing resume. And they keep strike operations going, coordinating with BECU on ways to aid strikers, cutting strike checks, visiting the picket lines.

But Machinists members, obviously, aren't getting paid during the strike.

Machinists, what do you think? Should union leaders receive pay during the strike?

(heraldnet.com)

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