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Machinists Union
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  • Information for Those Considering the VLO
    Updated On: Sep 16, 2020

    On Sept. 16, Boeing will inform members who applied for the Voluntary Layoff if they were approved or denied. Below is information from earlier posts that members may want to reference.

    What if I change my mind after I apply? Can I back out? 

    There is a very specific process (outlined below) if you applied and were accepted, but have since changed your mind and want to continue working.

    If you were notified on or before September 16th, you have 5 workdays from September 16th through 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, September 22nd to change your mind (see instructions below).

    NOTE: This is a very personal choice. We are not recommending that you accept the offer of VLO or withdraw your acceptance into VLO. We are just providing information so you can make an informed decision.

    To initiate your withdrawal request go to Worklife and initiate a ticket:

    1. Go to Worklife
    2. Click on “Get Support”
    3. Select “Life”
    4. Select “Leaving Boeing”
    5. Select “Consultation Reduction in Force”
    6. Fill in Short Description with “IAM751/W24 2VLO Withdrawal Request
    7. Enter in description “I would like to withdraw my VLO registration for the second round of 2020
    8. Check disclaimer box and submit

    The waiver is a document the Company is asking you to sign that waives your right to sue them for anything that happened prior to the date you sign it. Those selected to participate in the VLO program will receive a link to their Release and Waiver Agreement through Worklife via the red bell notification. Members can click on the hyperlink to go to the website to sign their agreement.

    If you intend to sue the Company, you should not sign this waiver and release document. If you don’t intend to sue the company and want to be accepted into the VLO and receive layoff benefits, you should sign it.

    Even if you sign the waiver and release, there are certain rights that the law does not allow you to waive, including your right to file for Workers Compensation or Unemployment Benefits. This does not guarantee you will receive those benefits, but the waiver does not prevent you from applying for UI or Workers Comp. In addition, your vested pension and retirement benefits are not affected by the waiver.

    Members will have 45 days to consult legal counsel, should they desire.

    However, you must be aware, that if you don’t sign the waiver and release agreement within the 45 days and if you didn’t withdraw from the VLO before September 22nd at 11:59 p.m., you will still be laid-off but will not be eligible to receive the layoff package of one week of pay for each year of service (up to 26 weeks max) and the 6 months of subsidized contractual COBRA medical continuation coverage.

    VLO & Boeing Pension
    For those considering Boeing’s Voluntary Layoff, we want to be sure members understand the potential ramifications a VLO could have on drawing their pension, which factors in both age and years of service. The following information is taken from information in the BCERP Plan Document, which governs the pension plan that covers our members at Boeing.

    At the time of layoff, if you are:

    • Younger than 55 years old, with less than 10 years of service:  You will not be able to commence your pension until you are 62 years old, and will have an early retirement penalty of 6% per year for every year under age 65.
    • Younger than 49 years old, with at least 10 years of service:  You will be able to commence your pension any time after turning 55. Since you are not in the age category to retire within the next six years, when you go to draw your pension you will be considered a vested former employee. This means your pension would be reduced by 6% per year for every year under age 65.
    • Between 49 and 51 years old, with at least 10 years of service:  You will be able to commence your pension any time after turning 55.  Your early retirement penalty will be 2% per year for every year under age 58, if you commence your pension within the 6-year bridge following layoff. 
    • Between 52 and 54 years old, with at least 10 years of service: You will be able to commence your pension any time after turning 55.  Your early retirement penalty will be 2% per year for every year under age 58. You could also wait until age 58 and commence during your 6-year bridge period following layoff, to receive an unreduced early retirement benefit.
    • 55 or older with any years of service:  You may commence your pension the first of the month following your date of layoff and if you are younger than 58 there will be a 2% reduction for every year under 58. You could also wait until age 58 and commence during your layoff period, to receive an unreduced early retirement benefit.

    In order to request an estimate, members can contact the Boeing Pension Service Center through Worklife and request an estimate of their pension benefit using different commencement dates. Estimates on retiree medical costs can be obtained through the Health & Insurance tab within WorkLife, as well.

    Unemployment Insurance (UI) & Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)
    Unemployment Insurance (UI), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program all have specific eligibility requirements. Laid off Boeing workers, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, are able to apply for these programs but eligibility is never guaranteed without case-by-case analysis by the Washington State Employment Security Department and/or a TAA Counselor. That said, there are certain things to consider:

    •  If you are receiving a pension or drawing from other retirement funds, like your 401(k) from the company you were laid off from, your weekly UI and/or PUA benefit could be reduced and may not be available.
    • Job search requirements for UI and PUA are only temporarily waived and could be reinstated at any time.
    • PUA, the federal program, expanded eligibility for UI to non-traditional workers and for some COVID-related job loss scenarios. It is also temporary and will expire without further action from Congress.
    • TAA training is intended to get a laid off worker gainfully re-employed. Approval for training includes, among other things, evaluating an individual’s current skills and employability and the probability that the training they pursue will lead to employment.

    More information about UI/PUA can be found at: https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment

    More information about TAA can be found at: https://esd.wa.gov/about-employees/TAA-FAQ

    751 Member Communications

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