This banner was displayed outside the Everett union hall this morning by Ron Ripley, a 3rd generation Boeing mechanic, who took his post at 3:45 a.m.: “We need fair and profitable wages so our family can survive,” he tells Seattle Times reporter @CoralGarnick.
On the morning of the union vote for the Boeing 777x contract, machinists in Everett started lining up at 3:30 a.m. to cast their ballot when the doors opened at 5 a.m.
A steady flow of workers on breaks have walked to the union hall to cast their votes all morning and, at times, the line wrapped around the building. The mood is calm, however.
Everyone who was vocal about their vote was strongly against the contract, saying they did not have enough time, leverage or bargaining power to fight Boeing’s offer.
“I am offended to be put in this position,” says Tracy Moser. She’s been a structure mechanic on the 767 in Everett for two and a half years.
“We had a week to decide on something that affects the entire Puget Sound.”
Ripley also says he’s angry that Boeing made the union workers give such a quick decision with no negotiating power.
“We are the best mechanics in the world and have 75 years of tradition,” he says.
Later in the morning, 767 mechanic Salim Balolia had the same sentiments. He says Boeing needs to realize the work the union members do in the Puget Sound is unlike any other Boeing locations in the nation.
“Our customers are not buying Boeing because of them,” he said. “They are buying Boeing because of us.”
People who voted yes this morning may not be sharing their decisions with coworkers, because opponents of the contract have been so vocal about their vote.