A vote to decide the future of Boeing’s widebody production system remains scheduled for 13 November despite reports that union leaders may cancel the balloting and reject the company’s proposal.
“The vote is still on,” says Jonathan Battaglia, a spokesman for the headquarters of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).
The roughly 30,000 members of IAM District Lodge 751 are invited to vote on 13 November on whether to accept Boeing’s controversial terms for keeping assembly of the 777X in Everett, Washington, Battaglia says.
However, Battaglia also used the caveat that the vote remains scheduled “as of now”, implying the status of the vote could still change over the next five days.
The timing of the vote appeared set until the Seattle Times reported late on 7 November about a meeting of District Lodge 751 leaders and stewards. After participants loudly denounced Boeing’s proposal, union leader Tom Wroblewski ripped Boeing’s paper proposal in half and said he may seek to call off the vote, according to the Seattle Times report.
Wroblewski had three days ago said Boeing’s proposal “merits consideration” in a communication to all of District Lodge 751’s members.
The turn-around at the 7 November union meeting prompted a defiant response from Boeing. Only “full acceptance” on 13 November of the proposed terms could prevent opening site selection for 777X assembly to competition, Boeing says.
Boeing’s proposal forces the union to agree to convert a company-funded pension to a defined contribution plan, among other concessions. In exchange, Boeing is offering to pay the employees a $10,000 signing bonus.