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Originally published November 30, 2011 at 8:45 PM | Page modified December 1, 2011 at 6:08 AM

Machinists officials hail Boeing contract's terms

The financial details of the deal announced Wednesday are clearly crucial to getting a yes vote next week from the union's 28,000 local members.

Seattle Times aerospace reporter

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The financial details of the deal announced Wednesday are clearly crucial to getting a yes vote next week from the union's 28,000 local members.

Tom Wroblewski, president of the International Association of Machinists (IAM) District 751, called the agreement "historic" and said it ensures "continuing good-wage jobs" in the region.

The agreement includes a $5,000 signing bonus, payable immediately upon ratification, and annual general wage increases of 2 percent.

Other terms include pension increases of $2 per year of service and a new incentive plan that could pay yearly bonuses up to 4 percent of gross earnings, based on meeting various yardsticks agreed upon by the company and union.

The incentive plan means union members could get annual pay increases as high as 6 percent each year.

IAM national aerospace coordinator Mark Blondin said protecting the pension and avoiding any lower wage tier for new hires were key economic goals for the union.

He also said management insisted it needed employees to pay more for health-care benefits due to skyrocketing costs.

"We did some cost-sharing there," said Blondin. "Each side gave a little."

Wroblewski said the language in the deal committing Boeing to securing jobs here is "unprecedented."

"We've never had this type of (job protection) language, ever," he said.

One union member close to the leadership, who asked not to be identified, said he talked with rank-and-file members after the news broke Wednesday and found widespread support.

"This is a very rich contract with huge job security," the IAM member said.

"I haven't heard any substantial opposition from anybody."

Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or dgates@seattletimes.com

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