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Originally published January 7, 2014 at 12:24 PM | Page modified January 8, 2014 at 1:05 PM

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Four Machinists ask NLRB to overturn last week’s vote

The separate complaints focus on the timing of the union vote that narrowly approved Boeing’s 777X contract extension.


Seattle Times aerospace reporter

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So four hot-heads got their noses out of joint because they didn't get their way and... MORE
I do not trust the results. In addition, too many machinists did not vote the second... MORE
Does the NLRB have the power to overturn a duly held election with proper notice and wi... MORE

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Four Machinists at Boeing have separately filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seeking to overturn the 777X contract extension vote that passed by a slim margin last week.

Anne Pomerantz, NLRB regional attorney, said the agency will investigate the complaints, gather evidence and decide if any action is warranted. The process typically takes approximately 12 weeks, she said.

The union members filed the unfair-labor-practices claims against the national headquarters of the International Association of Machinists (IAM), which forced the vote against the wishes of the union’s local district officials.

Pomerantz said the chief complaint is that the vote was scheduled for last Friday, Jan. 3. Many union members had added a couple of personal days to the regular Boeing winter break and were still on vacation.

Although the union made provisions for absentee ballots to be voted online, only 23,900 members voted out of roughly 32,000 eligible voters, according to a local district union official. In the end, the margin that determined the outcome for accepting the contract was only about 600 votes.

In the balloting that rejected a previous contract offer in early November — when there was no holiday — IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger said about 27,000 members voted.

The NLRB recently ruled on a separate Boeing labor case in South Carolina.

The agency upheld an unfair-labor-practice charge against the company for overzealous attempts to restrict the IAM from trying to organize its workforce in North Charleston, S.C.

On Dec. 21, complying with an NLRB order, Boeing formally informed its employees there that “Boeing will not object to employees talking about the (IAM) or any other labor organization” in the workplace.

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



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