As an IAM 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.
Most 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 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 our pension plan be retained. I am confident this proposal would be accepted, and we in the Puget Sound can continue to be the best aircraft manufacturers in the world for generations to come.