Boeing Machinists OK Contract Tied to 777X
Not an easy decision.
That is how many Boeing workers are describing tonight's 51-49 vote on a new contract linked to the 777-X.
Supporters of the deal say it will keep a lot of high-paying jobs in Washington State.
Critics say it relinquishes too many benefits.
Jim Bearden, with the International Association of Machinists (IAM) Local 751 says opinions are varied and they're coming from many different sources.
Bearden adds, "You know, no member liked this vote or the position we were put in by the company, nor was it an easy vote for anyone to cast. We faced tremendous pressure from every source imaginable in deciding how to vote today. Politicians, the media and others, who truly had no right to get into our business, were aligned against us and did their best to influence our folks' vote."
The IAM rejected a previous offer in November.
Boeing has made some changes since then.
Governor Jay Inslee issued this statement moments after it was announced the machinists acccpted the contract proposal:
“Tonight, Washington state secured its future as the aerospace capital of the world. To make that happen, the International Association of Machinists District 751 took a hard vote that demands the respect of all Washingtonians who will benefit from having Boeing build the 777X here.
“The Machinists are our friends, our families, neighbors, the best aerospace workers in the world and people who care deeply about their communities well beyond the walls of the Boeing plant. I want to thank each Machinist, no matter how they voted tonight.
“With the work the Legislature did in November and tonight’s vote, Washington state has shown it is the only place to build this next generation jetliner. That legislation has important protections for taxpayers and for Machinists and we will make sure the company keeps its commitment and that these jobs remain in Washington state for the life of the airplane.
“We have a history of innovation in our state that has gotten us to this point today and will chart our future for decades to come. Fabrication of the carbon fiber wing gives us a path to the forefront of the next generation of aerospace manufacturing and the start of a new industry for our state.
“Tonight, Washington showed the world we can design our future. We look forward to seeing the jetliner of the future take off and help us build a Washington that works for everyone.”