Now that the Legislature has acted to extend, by 16 years, tax breaks that would help Boeing be more competitive in the construction of the 777X – but unfortunately not quite finding the political will to provide similar tax incentives to smaller businesses which could use help in this economy – it is now up to the Machinists Union to decide by vote tonight whether they want Washington State to continue to be a place with lots of Boeing Machinists.
Does it mean anything that Jay Inslee is not putting any public pressure on the Machinists for a strong ‘yes’ vote on the contract, say as much as he would on any piece of climate change legislation? Perhaps he fears being characterized by Machinists as someone who supports job creation in Washington State, certainly a negative perception for Democrats in Washington State?
Union deeply split on Boeing’s 777X offer
Division and uncertainty within Boeing’s largest union was evident Monday as some local Machinists officials in Everett angrily denounced the company’s proposed contract while their district leader insisted the proposal will preserve aerospace jobs here.
Both Machinists District 751 President Tom Wroblewski and Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Ray Conner spoke at a morning ceremony where Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law the legislation passed hurriedly over the weekend to meet some of Boeing’s conditions for building the 777X and its carbon-fiber wing in Washington.
Wroblewski declined to say how he wants members to vote in the crucial 777X decision, while emphasizing , “What’s at stake here is jobs for the future, jobs to build 777X for 20 to 25 years.”
But in the afternoon, some 300 to 400 militant Machinists, led by local union officials, rallied outside the Everett union hall to shout out a resounding rejection of the 777X contract offer that will be voted on Wednesday.
Local A president Wilson Ferguson twice tore up copies of the company proposal that has been presented as essential to protect the future of Boeing’s massive Everett plant.