Machinists to vote again on Boeing 777X offer

by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:


Despite protests from local union leaders, Boeing machinists will vote on a contract to secure production of the 777X jet in Washington state.

The union's national headquarters is forcing the vote on Jan. 3.

"A lot of us are incredibly angry about it," Boeing worker Robley Evans said.

He learned about the vote Saturday morning.

'They did it specifically on purpose this way because we have no meetings scheduled," he said. "Everybody's on vacation."

The vote was announced on the Portland union's website.

Workers rejected the first offer in November and say the latest one still has big concessions.

"Pension-- gone!" Evans said. "That's a big deal to freeze my pension."

Evans showed up at the Seattle union hall to oppose what was supposed to be a rally for a vote on the latest offer.

Instead, the workers who showed up already had their wish granted.

"What's your response to hearing that there will be a vote?" KIRO 7 asked worker Mauri Osterberg.

"That's great," he said.

It comes as Boeing is narrowing its list of 21 other states who want to lure away the project from Washington.

That's partly why Osterberg will vote yes.

"You're talking thousands of layoffs," he said. "There will never be a new hire and Boeing will eventually just leave the state."

The local union, District 751, issued a statement saying in part, "Because of the massive takeaways, the union is adamantly recommending members reject this offer."

It went on to say that "there is no stopping the vote."

Boeing officials said the company will honor the contract if the majority of machinists vote yes even without the approval of local union leaders.