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Boeing Blog

Seattle Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates covers top industry events to bring you the latest news, highlighting how it impacts Boeing and its competitors.

January 3, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Machinists voting in Renton underscore union’s divisions

Machinists slowly trickled in at the Renton union hall early in the cold morning; the flow increased at around 7:30 am during a shift break at the Boeing plant nearby.

The tension surrounding the vote was evident: Some machinists openly criticized those who might change their mind to strike a deal with the company. Many refused to talk to the media

Mike Trinchini, who has worked for Boeing for 23 years, said those reconsidering a deal with Boeing were “scared babies,” bullied by the company’s threats to take the 777X work to other states. “I hope it gets rejected,” Trinchini said of the proposed contract extension.

He added that voting again on a deal with the aircraft maker — at the command of the union’s Washington D.C., headquarters, known among Machinists as the International — “is ridiculous.”

“International should have never been involved,” he said.

A young woman, walking briskly after exiting the union hall, said ‘I voted yes,’ but declined to give her name.

Machinist Richard Buchonis said that the deal would likely be rejected by the workers. “We have a lot of seniority people” reluctant to give up hard-acquired benefits, he said.

Nevertheless, said machinist John Stamos, this time a deal “might squeak by.” The 42 year-old opposes the deal, but said that Boeing’s hardline stance about taking 777X work elsewhere has “scared enough people.”

– Reported by Angel Gonzalez

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