Machinists Union

Labor Union
11:03 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Machinists Union Reform Candidates Explain Why They're Running

Reform candidates Jay Cronk, left, and Jason Redrup, right.
Ashley Gross KPLU

Editor's Note: The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, a union of about 333,000 dues-paying members across the country, has not had a contested election for its top posts since 1961. People have tried to get through the nomination and endorsement process in the past to challenge the union's leadership, but they haven't succeeded, until now. Machinists are voting throughout the month of April, and the results will be known next month.

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Labor Union
5:01 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Boeing Contract Fight Fuels Effort To Oust Top Leaders Of The Machinists Union

Machinists union members and supporters chant at a rally asking members to vote against a proposed contract Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Boeing machinists in the Puget Sound region have a rare chance to head to the polls Thursday and vote on who should run their union’s national headquarters. It’s the first contested election for the top leadership posts in more than 50 years, and lingering anger over the recent Boeing contract extension vote is fueling an effort to oust the union leaders.

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Labor Union
4:50 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Machinists Union President Buffenbarger On Boeing, Reformers’ Challenge

Tom Buffenbarger speaks to Boeing Co. workers Wednesday, July 16, 2008, at a strike sanction rally in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Editor's Note: Tom Buffenbarger has held the top job of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers since 1997. He’s been in the public eye in the Pacific Northwest ever since the contentious Boeing contract-extension votes that took place last November and in January.

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Business
3:06 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Boeing Shifts 26,000 Non-Union Workers In The Seattle Region Away From A Pension

Boeing plans to shift its non-union employees away from a defined benefit pension plan, including about 26,000 workers in the Puget Sound region. 

In January, machinists here narrowly accepted a similar pension freeze to win the 777X production line. Now, Boeing’s including non-union employees in the retirement plan change because the company says its pension obligation is unsustainable.

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Labor Unions
5:00 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Volkswagen Vote Won't Stop Machinists From Continuing Boeing South Carolina Effort

FILE - In an Friday, April 27, 2012 photo, Boeing workers work gather around the first 787 manufactured at the company's assembly plant in North Charleston, S.C.
Bruce Smith AP Photo

The vote by Volkswagen workers in Tennessee to reject the United Auto Workers union has sent shock waves throughout the world of organized labor. And that setback is an example of why the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers faces an uphill battle organizing Boeing workers in South Carolina. 

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Boeing Machinists
1:47 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Boeing CEO Says It’s Time To Rebuild Relationship With Machinists

File image
AP Photo

(Corrects to clarify that the agreement the machinists passed phases out the pension over time  and replaces it with a company-funded 401(k) retirement plan.)

Boeing's Chief Executive Jim McNerney says he’s looking forward to the prospect of no strikes for the next decade by Washington state machinists. McNerney told Wall Street analysts it made the most sense to build the next version of the 777 jet in the Puget Sound region, as long as the workers accepted the company’s contract extension offer.

Machinists narrowly approved the deal that preserves job security but phases out their pension and replaces it with a 401(k) retirement plan. McNerney says his deputy, Ray Conner, is now trying to improve morale in the wake of the vote.

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Machinists Union
5:00 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Reform Candidates Try To Dislodge Top Leaders Of The Machinists Union

Machinists are seen rallying against Boeing's contract extension offer.
Ashley Gross KPLU

The contentious Boeing contract extension offer that machinists narrowly passed earlier this month left many workers unhappy with their union leaders. This Saturday, they’ll have a chance to nominate new candidates for top positions in the union’s national headquarters. 

But the reform candidates face an uphill battle in their effort to dislodge the top leaders. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers hasn’t had a contested election for its highest jobs in more than half a century.

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Business
5:01 am
Tue January 21, 2014

NLRB Once Again Caught In The Middle Of A Thorny Boeing-Machinists Dispute

Boeing machinist Eddie Bjorgo greets fellow workers heading to a union hall to cast ballots with signs urging a "no" vote Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Everett, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

The National Labor Relations Board once again is being called into the middle of a thorny dispute between machinists and the Boeing Company. Could the agency find itself in as much political hot water this time as three years ago?

2011 is the year the NLRB exploded onto the national consciousness, all because the agency’s general counsel filed a complaint against Boeing over its decision to build a Dreamliner plant in South Carolina. That drew heated responses from many political conservatives.

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Business
2:54 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Boeing Machinists' Plight Marks Changing Times For Labor

Boeing machinists and other supporters held a rally against the company's offer the day before the critical vote, which took place in early January.
Ashley Gross KPLU

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:36 pm

The mood at the Seattle union hall was quiet, almost funereal on the night Boeing workers narrowly approved an offer to build the company's new airliner, the 777X.

Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers who had gathered had wanted to reject the offer. But they were in a tight spot. They risked losing the bid to one of the 21 states hoping to step in.

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Business
8:47 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Embattled Local Leader Of The Machinists Union Announces Resignation

Machinists union president Tom Wroblewski speak at a signing event for legislation to help keep production of Boeing's new 777X in Washington, Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Citing health concerns and two hospital stays brought on by stress connected to the Boeing 777x contract extension proposal, the embattled local leader of the machinists' union says he'll resign at the end of the month. 

Tom Wroblewski, 59, has been president of District Lodge 751 of the machinists' union since 2007. Prior to the post, he served as a grievance coordinator as well as a business representative for the union, with assignments throughout the Puget Sound region. 

The experience of the 777X contract proposal "changed my perspective on work-life balance," Wroblewski said in a statement. "Your job should not destroy your health."

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Machinists Vote
10:04 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Local Machinists Narrowly Approve Boeing's Best And Final Offer For 777X Work

A volunteer vote counter tallies ballots Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, at the Boeing machinists union hall in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Local machinists narrowly approved Boeing’s “best and final” offer that guarantees assembly of the next 777 wide-body jet and the fabrication of the plane's carbon-fiber wing for the Puget Sound region.

Some 30,000 local machinists accepted the deal with a 51-percent vote, said International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers spokesman Jim Bearden late Friday.

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Boeing Decision
1:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Boeing Says Union Vote Will Decide Fate Of Jobs In Puget Sound Area

Former Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel, Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke, Snohomish County Executive John Lovick, Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson, Renton Mayor Denis Law and Port of Everett Commissioner Troy McClelland are seen on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Boeing has told local political leaders that this week's vote by Machinists will determine the fate of some jobs on the new 777X airplane.

In a press conference Monday morning, local politicians gathered in Everett to discuss the importance of approving the contract. They said Boeing executive Ray Conner told them in a meeting that the union vote will decide whether the new 777X composite wing is built in the region.

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Boeing Decision
2:11 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Union Chief Says Boeing's Latest Offer A $1 Billion Gain

File image
AP Photo

The international president of the machinists union says Boeing's revised contract offer is an improvement of more than $1 billion.

In a letter to union members, Tom Buffenbarger said the offer that workers will consider next week is a significant improvement over a contract the union rejected last month.

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Business
9:19 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Nader Says Boeing Pressure On Machinists Union 'Unseemly'

FILE - Ralph Nader is seen in Washington, on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009.
Jacquelyn Martin AP Photo

Consumer activist and failed presidential candidate Ralph Nader has some words for Boeing.

In an open letter to Boeing CEO Jim McNerney on Thursday, Nader said the company's effort to squeeze worker pensions and pay is "unseemly." He cited McNerney's salary as one reason and the tax advantages the company is receiving as another.

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Boeing Decision
12:05 pm
Sat December 21, 2013

Boeing Machinists Will Vote On Company's Contract Offer

Machinists rally to urge their union to bring the offer to a vote
Ashley Gross KPLU

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story stated voting will take place on Jan. 3. However, according to a spokesman for the union's international headquarters, the exact date is still being finalized.

Local Boeing machinists will have a chance to vote on the company's "best and final" offer, the acceptance of which would guarantee assembly of the next 777 wide-body jet and the fabrication of the plane's carbon-fiber wing for the Puget Sound region.  

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