Machinists dive into the Boeing proposal’s fine print

Some FOD surrounding the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) contract extension

• It’s hard to read the hundreds of comments on the District 751 Facebook page and not conclude that this thing could go down in flames when union members vote Wednesday on Boeing’s offer. Machinists posting there are mostly responding with either “No!” or “Hell, no!”

• Some of them are not even convinced that the company’s promise to build the 777X in Everett is ironclad. And indeed that particular letter of understanding seems to give Boeing a lot of leeway in doing component work and even final assembly elsewhere. To wit:

Nothing in this Letter of Understanding will impact the Company’s right under Section 21.7 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement to make strategic work placement decisions associated with a condition of sale or market access, and to subcontract or offload work due to lack of capability or capacity, to subcontract or offload work to prevent production schedule slippage, or to temporarily subcontract or offload work due to emergent short term needs.

• Meanwhile, one of the more vocal posters on Facebook, Stephen Ramsey, thinks that same letter of understanding is not only not ironclad but shreds the present contract’s 2011 promise by Boeing to build the 737 Max in Renton. Leaving aside the impossibility of building 47 737s per month anywhere but Renton, we’re not sure he’s right about the contract language.

The proposed contract extension says that “except as expressly provided, nothing in this Letter of Understanding will extend the duration of Letter of Understanding 42.” LOU 42 is Boeing’s Renton promise, which “shall remain in full force and effect until assembly of the 737 Max commences in Renton.” That’s just a few years from now. We think the 777X promise simply means the Max promise won’t be extended past the presently defined expiration. We’ve queried a union official but haven’t heard back yet.

• OK, OK, we know, Boeing really, really does want that legislation in Olympia. But we think it’s also true that if the union approved the contract extension and lawmakers did nothing, Boeing would still have to build the 777 in Everett because the contract is legally binding. But as we said above, the opposite is more likely to happen.

More in Herald Business Journal

Camano artist mixes flask, paintings for successful cocktail

Art flasks prove popular as bachelorette gifts, birthday presents and wedding favors.

Pentagon inspector general praises secret $80 billion bomber

US Government Accountability Office in 2016 rejected a protest filed by Boeing-Lockheed Martin.

Everett’s Sentry Credit celebrates a quarter century in business

Sentry Credit Inc. in Everett is celebrating its 25th year in business.… Continue reading

Funko donates hundreds of Pop! Heroes to Christmas House

Everett’s toy and collectibles maker Funko has donated hundreds of its Pop!… Continue reading

Donate coats for Clothes for Kids of Snohomish County

Washington Energy Services is conducting a local coat drive to benefit Clothes… Continue reading

Seattle Premium Outlets extend hours over Thanksgiving holiday

Seattle Premium Outlets will be offering extended Black Friday shopping hours in… Continue reading

Equipment rental and sales business H&E opens Mukilteo shop

Company hopes to capitalize on construction occuring in northwest Washington.

New Chick-fil-A draws dozens of campers in Bothell

A second restaurant of the popular chain is opening on Thursday.

Tulalip Resort Casino to feature locally grown hazelnuts

The resort wanted to put a focus on meals created with the nut.

Most Read