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Friday, November 15, 2013

Leaders make last ditch plea for Boeing deal as Machinists remain defiant

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BY Josh Kerns  on November 12, 2013 @ 5:09 pm (Updated: 5:40 pm - 11/12/13 ) Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson and Snohomish County Executive John Lovick are urging Machinists union members to approve the proposed contract extension with Boeing to make sure the 777X is built in the Puget Sound area. But plenty of union members say they aren't swayed by the plea.

"So much depends on this vote," said Lovick. "The nation and the world are watching to see what happens. Our competitors will take advantage of any opportunity to move ahead of us."

Boeing officials have promised to build the next generation jet in Washington state if union members approve a new eight-year contract extension. Governor Jay Inslee signed several tax breaks and other incentives for Boeing into law Monday.

Union members say Boeing's demands for concessions on health care and pension equates to extortion.

"It is not an extension. It is a whole new contract," says one Boeing machinist who spoke with KIRO Radio on condition of anonymity via phone from the Everett plant, where she works on the 777. "It guts our contract. It leaves us no room for anything, ever."

The structures mechanic says along with elimination of the company pension plan in favor of a 401(k), workers are most angry with what amounts to just a six percent raise total over the next 10 years, while the top five executives received a 55 percent raise last year.

"(CEO Jim) McNerney's now making $27 million and they want to begrudge us our little...

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