Supplier for Everett-built Boeing jets faces possible strike

A company that supplies parts for Boeing’s Everett-built jets could face a strike by Machinists.

Over the weekend, members of Local District 751 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers rejected a contract offer from Hytek Finishes. Union members also authorized a strike of the Kent-based manufacturer.

The union has not yet set a date for when the strike will start, said Kevin Cummings, the union’s lead negotiator. Cummings said he has offered to hold one more bargaining session with Hytek management before the union sets a date for the strike.

“We want to give management one last chance,” he said in a statement.

Hytek’s 180 Machinists do metal coating and finishing on aircraft parts for all of Boeing’s widebody jets: the 787, 747-8, 777 and 767. All four are built in Everett. A second 787 assembly line is in North Charleston, S.C.

Hytek is a subsidiary of Bellevue-based Esterline Technologies, which also owns Everett-based Korry.

The union says a strike at Hytek would be disruptive not only to Boeing but throughout the aerospace industry.

“There are very few companies in the world certified to do this kind of work, and fewer still in the United States,” the Machinists’ Cummings said.

Besides Boeing, Hytek’s customers include BAE, Bell Helicopters, Gulfstream, Triumph Aerostructures and United Technologies. Hytek workers also supply parts for the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Workers at Hytek voted to join the Machinists union in 2011.

The union says the key sticking point has been Hytek’s unwillingness to negotiate fairly. The National Labor Relations Board in November ruled that Hytek had committed eight violations of the National Labor Relations Act.

The Machinists said Monday that they are going forward with strike plans and conducted training on Saturday. The union has 33,000 other members nearby to support the Hytek workers during the walkout, many of whom work at Boeing.

Boeing already faces a potential strike by 7,400 members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace. After nearly a year of negotiating, the technical workers represented by SPEEA rejected Boeing’s second contract offer last week and granted negotiators approval to call a strike. SPEEA-represented engineers approved the contract.

Boeing and SPEEA are to resume talks Wednesday with the help of federal mediators and with hopes of avoiding a strike by technical workers.

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