Update, 3:30pm PST:
IAM 751 leaders have come out opposed to ratifying the contract. This, and a response to Ray Conner’s earlier email, is below the jump, reprinted here. (There is no unique link.)
The Seattle Times broke the news this morning that the IAM International will force a vote on the second Boeing contract offer over the objections (and probably by now, the figurative dead bodies) of IAM District 751 union leaders.
The contract proposal is here.
Some members of the 751 union have been seeking a vote since the 751 leadership, headed by Tom Wroblewski, rejected a counter-offer from Boeing that Wroblewski said he could not support.
Wroblewski said the offer was contingent upon his endorsement of the offer and, unable to do so, he claimed Boeing withdrew the offer. Boeing said it did not, and would not comment about whether the offer was actually “contingent” on Wroblewski’s endorsement. But in a letter issued to employees by Ray Conner, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, it contained a phrase that under any fair interpretation certainly leads one to conclude Wroblewski was correct.
We were sincere in asking for the union leadership’s commitment to support our improved final proposal as a tentative agreement that would be taken to a vote by IAM members with a recommendation for approval.
We’ve been of two minds on the vote issue.
What we are crystal clear about, however, is the continued meddling by International in this entire affair. It was International that [m]ucked this up from the beginning, starting with leading the negotiations, forcing the first agreement on 751 leadership, figuratively placing them under house arrest to silence them, [m]ucking up the communication with the membership and mishandling the media through the voting process.
Now International is inserting itself again, and no prophylactic is going to contain this mess.
This should be something sorted out between 751 and Boeing.
International’s motivations seem more intent on preserving its dues-paying jobs at any cost than on doing what’s best for 751 members and for Boeing.
In February 2010 we suggested 751 ought to divorce from International because even then we didn’t believe International had the best interests of the local at heart. We’re more convinced than ever this is the case.
It is so clear that Boeing has International running scared. Regardless of the outcome of a new vote, International will rue these day some day.
International Is Forcing a Vote on Jan. 3 – Your Voice Needs to Be Heard at the Voting Polls!
Despite objections from District 751 leadership, the International has insisted on a vote on January 3rd to ensure you spend your holidays studying and debating a concessionary proposal that is largely unchanged from the one you rejected by a 2-to-1 margin on Nov. 13.
Because of the massive takeaways, the Union is adamantly recommending members reject this offer (more information to come). Members need to look at the facts of the economic destruction they would live under for the next 11 years — without any opportunity to change those economic proposals or any other provision of the contract. And all of this comes as Boeing is experiencing record profits and backlogs, not to mention the $10 billion stock buy back the Boeing Board approved just this last week.
International President R. Thomas Buffenbarger ordered the vote over objections of 751’s elected officials, and Rich Michalski announced the Jan. 3rd vote to the Seattle Times on Saturday, Dec. 21.
THERE IS NO STOPPING THE VOTE; THEREFORE, YOUR VOICE NEEDS TO BE HEARD AT THE VOTING POLLS!
The timing of the vote will make it very difficult to get information out to you and to recruit adequate volunteers to ensure members do not wait in line for hours to vote on Jan. 3. Voting for 31,000 people is a monumental task, and it is imperative as many members as possible get the opportunity to vote.
If you are a member and would like to help with the vote, please email us (at [email protected]). If you volunteer, be sure to include your name, BEMSID, the location and time of day you would volunteer, phone number, as well as an email address you can be contacted at over the holidays.
Stay tuned. More information on the details will be coming soon.
RAY: “We were sincere in asking for the union leadership’s commitment to support our improved final proposal as a tentative agreement that would be taken to a vote by IAM members with a recommendation for approval.”*
REALITY: That is not the whole story. What Ray doesn’t tell you is that the next words out of his mouth last Thursday were:
“If union leadership doesn’t agree to recommend this and go out in the shop to sell it, then there is no offer.“
Your union leadership then took the time to review Boeing’s offer. It didn’t take long. We heard you loud and clear on Nov. 13 that you weren’t interested in destroying retirement security, jacking up our health care costs and limiting our future wage growth over 10 years in exchange for a little cash and vague and unclear promises of job security. So we said no, shook hands and left.
RAY: “We did not withdraw the vote from the union … Under the right circumstances, I would support a vote.”**
REALITY: Ray Conner told us that “there is no offer” unless we, as union leaders, agreed to try to convince you that giving away pensions, health care and future wage growth for 10 long years is a good thing. Those are his “right circumstances.”
*From Ray Conner’s e-mail to all employees on Dec. 17.
** From Ray Conner’s e-mail to an IAM 751 member on Dec. 13 (shown below)
From: Conner, Raymond L
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2013 4:59 PM
To: (name withheld)
(Name withheld): Make your voice heard. To be clear we did not withdraw the vote the union rejected it and would not take it to the members. Under the right circumstances I would support a vote.