Seattle Times: Boeing Machinists to vote Jan. 3 on Boeing 777X contract

SEATTLE - Boeing machinists will get to vote again on the company's 777X contract extension offer, the Seattle Times reported.  The national headquarters of the Machinists union is forcing the vote, despite and against the wishes of the union's local Puget Sound-area leadership.  Rich Michalski, the lead negotiator for the national headquarters of the union, confirmed the vote would be on January 3, 2014, the Times reported.

A vote to accept the company's contract offer would mean that the Everett Boeing plant would get to assemble the new 777X.  A "yes" vote by the union would end the national site search for another location to do the work, the Times reported.

Wilson Ferguson, president of the Local A unit of District 751 told the Times that the district would send out notification to members later Saturday.

The Portland, Oregon IAM local 63 web site has details on the voting arrangements in Portland area.  Also, the web site says that International IAM President Tom Buffenbarger will send a letter to union members, explaining the terms of the Boeing contract offer and the need for a vote, the Times reported.

District 751 president Tom Wroblewski has repeatedly said that the Boeing offer that he rejected earlier this month is too similar to the original offer that the machinists rejected 2-to-1 in November, and no new vote is necessary, the paper reported.

The IAM 751 website responded to the news of the vote with a strong message:

"Despite objections from District 751 leadership, the International has insisted on a vote on January 3rd to ensure you spend your holidays studying and debating a concessionary proposal that is largely unchanged from the one you rejected by a 2-to-1 margin on Nov. 13.

International President R. Thomas Buffenbarger ordered the vote over objections of 751’s elected officials, and Rich Michalski announced the Jan. 3rd vote to the Seattle Times on Saturday, Dec. 21.