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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 25, 2013 at 6:36 AM

Boeing’s new 777X contract

Union workers cheer at a "Build it Here" rally Monday, Nov. 18, in downtown Seattle. The Washington State Labor Council called for the rally, saying it wanted to show Boeing and state leaders it supports Machinists union who voted last week to reject contract concessions Boeing said it needed to build the new 777X in Washington. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Union workers cheer at a “Build it Here” rally Monday, Nov. 18, in downtown Seattle. The Washington State Labor Council called for the rally, saying it wanted to show Boeing and state leaders it supports Machinists union who voted last week to reject contract concessions Boeing said it needed to build the new 777X in Washington. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Boeing and the union need to resume negotiations and retain a pension plan

As an International Association of Machinists union member, it is very disconcerting to me that the majority of the public is so highly critical of our members for having rejected the recent 777X contract [“States salivating for 777X feast,” page one, Nov. 20].

The majority of members, including myself, have been fighting for decades to keep in place the pension and benefits won by our predecessors. It is difficult to give away something we fought so hard for, at a time when the company is enjoying record high profits and sales.

However, it deeply saddens me that so many people may be adversely affected as a result of the contract rejection. What was considered a justified stance by the union for the working class may end up costing tens of thousands of jobs for the region. As I am nearing retirement eligibility and have no layoff concerns, the many concessions in the proposal would not be a great sacrifice to me. However, my younger colleagues would surely be facing layoffs, as well as the local economy suffering.

With this in mind, although it is probably too late, it is my sincere hope that Boeing and the union resume negotiations and perhaps submit the same proposal — but with the exception that we retain our pension plan.

I am confident this proposal would be accepted and we in the Puget Sound region can continue to be the best aircraft manufacturers in the world for generations to come.

— Corey Schatz, Gig Harbor

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