At 10:00 PM I am now watching KCPQ, Channel 13, Seattle, on the breaking news that concerns the Machinists Local 751 Union vote. It is interesting to watch the local Union Leaders, filled with disgust. It was also interesting to note the comments of those that voted NO. The National Union argued vehemently to force the local Machinists 751 into a vote on this latest, perhaps final contract offer from Boeing.
Having grown up in a strong Union family, I am not necessarily one that falls into lockstep with the rank & file. My dad was respected among his union peers. He also understood that his income and benefits depended on a strong company performance. For a man with only a 10th grade education he definitely understood the dynamics that surround employee productivity. My indirect experience with SPEEA (Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace) and The Local Machinists, #751, is based on what I have heard and / or read in newspapers or on television over the years. Boeing management may be guilty of particular behaviors but the actions, over the years, of these two aerospace unions has been anything but professional, in my opinion. For instance, I find it interesting to hear the take of their hardcore members on pensions versus 401 K accounts. It was obvious that these people had not been informed. Clueless would best describe them when talking about such issues.
With the tendency towards right to work laws in twenty-four states, currently, union members need to understand that their numbers have dwindled for a reason. Intelligent, informed membership needs to replace the thug mentality that many believe still exists. Ignorance is no way to fight for better pay and / or benefits. The sooner that the rank and file discovers this, the more powerful they will become. I have no sympathy for the leaders of local 751. They came across on the television, the past few months, as being both uninformed and ignorant. That does nothing to help sell their cause in any honest attempt at Public Relations. Now they have seven years of potential harmony. I have not looked into their pension plan but the 401 K change probably takes some of the Union’s power away because of how these accounts are actually set-up. Perhaps the local leaders need to be investigated. Just a suggestion!
The following screen capture was taken from the KCPQ 13 website. It details the final vote. This is the same piece that is shown in the link above.
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