‘Sharp questions’ posed at Machinists district meeting

A regularly scheduled meeting of Machinists District 751 leadership and rank-and-file members saw heated discussion Tuesday evening about a contract proposal by the Boeing Co. earlier this month.

But the meeting didn’t include a showdown between members and district leaders, especially President Tom Wroblewski, as some some union members had predicted — or hoped — before the meeting at district headquarters in Seattle.

“There were some sharp questions, but there were some good answers,” district spokesman Bryan Corliss said after the meeting. “Tom’s still our president.”

Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) at Boeing rejected the contract proposal — which would have cut benefits in return for building the new 777X airplane in Everett — by a 2-1 margin.

Before and after the Nov. 13 vote, many of the district’s 32,000 members described the offer as tantamount to extortion and expressed anger at their leadership’s role in negotiating the proposal.

Some members called for Wroblewski’s ouster, and two of District 751’s seven local units took symbolic voice votes of no confidence in the days after they rejected the contract proposal.

There is no mechanism for members to unseat Wroblewski, whose term runs into 2016.

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