Jeff Johnson, president of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, chastised two of Washington’s top political leaders for being “absolutely disrespectful to the Machinists and to the labor movement.” Yes, they had the audacity to be concerned about the long-term economic welfare of thousands of Boeing employees. The nerve!
Johnson was as bent out of shape as a piece of an outsourced 787, with his finger wag published Monday on the state labor council’s online news site, The Stand.
The headline read: “Outside pressure on Machinists disrespectful.” Gov. Jay Inslee and Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, were entitled to their opinions, Johnson opined, but he was upset they were so publicly supportive of Boeing’s offer. Inslee and Larsen wanted the members of IAM District Council 751 to have another vote on a revised offer from the company. Let union members decide on the adequacy of the offer, described here at a union site, and vote it up or down.
Yes, the membership did reject an offer last month. But some of the details have changed, and Boeing has not budged from its declared intent to build the 777X elsewhere, and move final assembly of the 737 MAX, in the absence of a contract extension.
The muddle has been on the union side, with Puget Sound members hearing different tunes and tones from their representatives locally and at the national level. Johnson’s bleat about a show of disrespect is a classic demonstration of having nothing else to say, and a feeble attempt to change the subject, and say “don’t blame us.”
Give workers a chance to decide their own futures, and have secure, well-paid jobs in the meantime.