We really hoped we were done with this story, but the saga of the IAM 751 Boeing 777X contract vote lives on.
The critics of the election’s timing note that several thousand members of 751 were on vacation on January 3. Absentee voting was allowed for the first time in IAM history, but according to media reports, about 2,700 members did not vote in this election who voted in the November 13 election. The 777X contract was rejected then by a 67%-33% margin.
If these 2,700 members voted in the January 3 election, about 72% of these would have had to vote “Reject” to overcome the 51% “Accept” result. This is 5 percentage points greater than the November 13 Reject vote. We’re not persuaded this would have occurred.
We were involved in local suburban and state legislative elections from 1998 through 2011. In the suburb where we live, voter turnout in presidential years routinely was 85%. We analyzed voting results and voting trends in all but the 2011 election. In no case did absentee votes alter the initial reported outcome by more than 1%. Those on the losing end hoped that absentee ballots would make up the difference. We always calculated what percentage of votes would be required to overcome a deficit. Super-majority percentages were beyond reach.
It is based on this experience, and the percentages achieved in the November 13 and January 3 votes, that leads us to conclude that even if the “missing” 2,700 members had cast votes, the required percentage to win–72%–was impossible to achieve.
We believe the contract still would have been accepted.