Leadership Letter Recommends Reject - Dec. 23, 2013

Click here to view pdf version of letter.

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

If you have not already heard, we want to let you know that the International is forcing a vote on Boeing’s latest proposal on January 3, 2014.

Due to the massive takeaways, your District 751 leadership is united with a recommendation that you reject this proposal. You need to look at the facts of the economic destruction you would have to live under for the next 11 years, without any opportunity to change any provisions of the contract.

We also want to point out that Boeing’s ultimatum demanding these concessions comes at a time when the company is experiencing record profits and backlogs, not to mention the $10 billion stock buy back the Boeing Board of Directors approved just this last week.

Here are some of the major objections we have to the Boeing proposal:

• There’s no clear statement of work, and the language in the Boeing proposal clearly states that the company reserves the right to subcontract or outsource “certain 777X work packages in whole or part.”

• Boeing leaders have told us they do not intend to use any of our current wing line mechanics to do 777X wing work, which will directly affect all of you who build wings.

• Boeing’s proposals on pay and benefits will mean decreases in your takehome pay. Your monthly health care premiums will go up at least 10 percent each year, while you’ll see guaranteed wage increases (GWI) averaging only 0.5 percent from 2016 to 2024. (Specifically the proposal calls for 1 percent raises in 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2023.)

• For a Machinist earning $30 an hour today, that average 0.5 percent GWI will amount to 15 cents an hour- or roughly $300 a year. Our average wage today is $29 an hour.

• The company’s proposal also lets it lower future health care benefits without negotiations so that Boeing can avoid any potential excise taxes under the Affordable Care Act - or “Obamacare.”

The proposal to freeze current pensions and eliminate them for new Machinists will create problems for those of us working at Boeing today, those who are about to retire and the new members who will join us in the future.

• If you are at maximum pay today, Boeing’s contributions to your retirement would decrease by two-thirds under this proposal. If you are in progression, the losses will be more significant.

• If the pension were to be frozen, Boeing would have the option to make dramatic changes to the pension that would put both current and future retirees at risk.

Finally, the proposal would lock in place all other provisions of our current contract until 2024. There will be no opportunity to negotiate changes to benefit you for nearly 11 years. That includes pay for new hires. By 2024, we estimate that more than 2,000 jobs at Boeing - all of the Grade A, Grade 1 and Grade 2 - will have entry-level pay at minimum wage, while entry-level pay for Grade 3s will be only a few cents above it.

On January 3, 2014, you will cast a vote that will decide the future for not only yourself and your co-workers, but also future generations of Machinists at Boeing and thousands of retirees. This union has a long tradition of standing up for what is right for working people. All of us today enjoy pay and benefits made possible only because our members have always stood together in solidarity and, when required, made sacrifices on the picket line.

We all understand Boeing may make the decision to locate the 777X outside of Washington, but doing that has nothing to do with our level of pay and benefits. We are faced then with a choice to destroy everything that we have built over 78 years in order to save Boeing from making a decision that puts the future of the company, all it’s employees (Union and non-union alike) and the stockholders at risk. If the company chooses this path of destruction, then they are responsible for it. We, as union members, do not have control over it and have a contract in place through 2016. The customer, the analysts and all of us know this is the best place to build the 777X and stand ready to do that, whether or not this proposal is rejected or ratified.

This destructive proposal will hurt current and future Machinists at Boeing, our families and our communities. This is why we are urging you to reject this proposal from the Boeing Co.

In solidarity,

lAM District 751 Leadership Team

For specific information on the proposal and a comparison/analysis, see below.

NOTE: Recognizing that many of our members are on approved vacation and out of the area on the voting day of January 3rd, District 751 got the International President to grant authority a one-time absentee ballot process on a contract vote. We are currently developing an absentee ballot process and refining the details. Check the website www.iam751.org for instructions on how to obtain an absentee ballot. These are extraordinary times and our goal is to ensure that every member gets an opportunity to vote.

Information on Boeing Proposal to be Voted Jan. 3 -
District 751 Recommends You Reject This Offer!

As you know, the International forced a vote on Boeing's latest proposal from 12/12/13 and insists the vote be on Jan. 3rd.

Click here to get more information on Boeing's proposal.

Click here to view District 751 comparison/analysis of this proposal vs the one you rejected on Nov. 13. You will see there are minimal revisions.

Click here to download flyer with questions we all should be asking because of the lack of details on Boeing's proposal.


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