Because the contentious Jan. 3 vote on Boeing’s revised contract offer will occur when many members of the Machinists union are expected to be on vacation, the union is departing from its standard procedures and planning to allow absentee ballots.
A post on the IAM Local 751 website Monday said the local leadership “got the International President to grant authority to do a one-time absentee ballot process on a contract vote.”
“We are still working on the details of that process,” said the post. “These are extraordinary times and our goal is to ensure that every member gets an opportunity to vote.”
As reported Saturday, the top leadership of the Machinists, known within the union as “the International,” has ordered a vote on Boeing’s contract offer, despite strong opposition from the local Machinists leadership, which says the contract isn’t much better than the one rejected in a membership vote by 2 to 1 in November.
News of that scheduled vote on Jan. 3 prompted complaints from many Machinists that they have already made holiday plans and would not be able to participate.
A spokesman for the International union headquarters could not immediately be reached for comment.
Boeing has said that if Machinists approve the contract, it will build the 777X and its composite wing in the Puget Sound area. The company has solicited offers from 21 other states for plant sites it could use instead of building the plane here.