It's all about jobs, says Machinists' president in casting his contract vote

Machinists District 751 President Tom Wroblewski cast his vote Wednesday to ratify the new contract with Boeing at the Renton union hall. - Charles Cortes/Renton Reporter
Machinists District 751 President Tom Wroblewski cast his vote Wednesday to ratify the new contract with Boeing at the Renton union hall.
— image credit: Charles Cortes/Renton Reporter

It's all about jobs, said the president of Machinists District 751, Tom Wroblewski, after casting his vote in Renton Wednesday morning for a landmark contract between his union and the Boeing Co.

If Machinists ratify the contract, Boeing and the Machinists will enter into a new era of cooperation and will bring the production of the 737 MAX to Renton.

Like thousands of other Machinists, Wroblewski signed in, then walked back to cast his vote.

"Good standing card goes here?" he asked. Yes.

"The ballot goes here."

And he was done.

"It's a vote for jobs for the future here in Renton, here in Puget Sound and Washington state as well," Wroblewski said, calling his vote in Renton "symbolic."

"Good job, Tommie," called out a Machinist.

"Hey, thank you," he said.

The process was repeated Tuesday at union halls in Auburn, Seattle, Everett and Frederickson starting at 5 a.m. The voting ends at 6 p.m., with the Machinists expected to announce the results between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Outside the hall, Wroblewski repeated again the contract is about jobs.

"This is the future of our membership," he said. "If we land the 737 MAX, that's where we build for the future."

Some union members expressed concern that Boeing had an out in the contract to move the 737 MAX production elsewhere.

But Wroblewski said that not only is Boeing guaranteeing it will build the 737 MAX in Renton, but the P-8A Poseidon is staying and the company will continue to "build out" the Next Generation 737.

"This is going to increase the footprint of aerospace work here in Washington state," he said.

Boeing has already made major capital improvements to the Renton plan to accommodate the rate increase for the Next Generation 737, he said, and if the contract is ratified, Boeing will start making capital improvements immediately to accommodate the 737 MAX.

That could mean another production line, he said.

The company's goal is to increase production to build 60 of the world's most-popular jetliner every month.



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