NLRB rejects Machinists’ complaints about contract vote

EVERETT — The National Labor Relations Board has dismissed complaints filed by Machinists who had hoped to overturn the union’s approval of a contract offer by the Boeing Co. earlier this year.

Local leaders of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) had opposed the offer, but the union’s headquarters backed the proposal and forced a Jan. 3 vote.

About 40 IAM members filed complaints with the NLRB, alleging that the headquarters in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, scheduled the vote to undercut opposition to the contract. Many senior members, who were thought more likely to vote no, were on holiday vacation that day.

The offer cut negotiated benefits, including moving workers’ retirement benefits from a traditional defined pension plan to a defined contribution plan. In return for approving the contract, Boeing promised to place final assembly and wing fabrication for the new 777X airliner in metro Puget Sound.

Members of IAM District Lodge 751, which represents about 31,000 Boeing employees, narrowly approved the contract.

But a vote was never actually even necessary. The IAM constitution actually gives the headquarters authority to accept a contract without a vote, according to a letter sent by the NLRB to Robley Evans, who filed one of the complaints. He is president of Local F of District Lodge 751 and a forklift operator at Boeing’s Auburn plant.

Evans said he plans to appeal.

“The IAM can accept a contract and ram it down our throats, but once they decide to hold a vote, I believe they have a responsibility to give members a fair vote.”

The letters were sent by the NLRB’s Seattle office, where a spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Boeing has “not received any formal notification from the NLRB regarding the status of these charges,” company spokesman Doug Alder said. “We continue to move forward implementing all terms of the contract, including the major expansion of our Everett site for the 777X.”

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; dcatchpole@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

More in Herald Business Journal

Peoples, HomeStreet banks bump lowest salaries after tax cut

The banks with Snohomish County branches will raise minimum salaries for employees to $15 an hour.

Electroimpact cuts Mukilteo staff by 9 percent

“What we’re missing now is a monster anchor project,” the company’s VP said.

Exotic animals find compassionate care in Bothell (video)

At the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine, vets treat snakes, hedgehogs and even kangaroos.

How can you tell if you are getting good financial advice?

Assume that it’s still the same buyer-beware market that has always existed.

Amanda Strong (left) tries on an Angel of the Winds Arena hat as she and Courtney Brown hand out gift bags after the renaming ceremony Dec. 13 in Everett. The new name replaces the Xfinity name. (Andy Bronson / Her file)
Angel of the Winds to break ground on $60M casino expansion

“We think we’re on the cusp of becoming a major resort.”

In this Dec. 20, 2017, photo, a clerk reaches to a shelf to pick an item for a customer order at the Amazon Prime warehouse, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Amazon’s potential HQ2 sites leaves many cities disappointed

And yet, some municipal leaders are looking at the bright side of being rejected.

How do you retrieve an errant Boeing 737 from a muddy slope?

Turkish authorities used cranes to lift a plane that skidded off a runway.

Don’t take economic forecasts to the bank — or the casino

Air travel delays could spur a rebirth of passenger rail service.

Emirates orders 20 more Airbus A380 jumbos, saving program

The Dubai carrier also has options to buy 16 more. The program seems safe until 2029.

Most Read