The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) appears set to reject the objections of some local Machinists to the vote that sealed Boeing’s decision to build the 777X jet in Everett.
Such a ruling will kill the faint hope by some Machinists that the vote that froze their pensions — approved by a margin of less than 1 percent — could be overturned.
Individual members of International Association of Machinists (IAM) District 751 who had filed complaints with the NLRB about the fairness of the vote received letters Friday offering them the option to either withdraw their complaints or have them dismissed.
Robley Evans, president of Local F, was one of the activists who filed a complaint. Evans said he will appeal the decision through the NLRB’s appeals process.
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The charge was that the IAM’s national leadership unfairly pushed through the deal with Boeing by scheduling a surprise vote on very short notice for Friday, Jan. 3.
District 751’s leadership, which opposed the deal, wasn’t aware of the vote until the Christmas break had begun, so it had no opportunity to call a meeting of its members.
On the day of the vote, many older, more militant IAM members were still out of town, having extended their holiday break.
The grounds cited in the NLRB letter for rejecting the complaints are technical and do not address the fairness of the vote.
The letter told the complainants the IAM national leadership had no obligation even to hold a vote, Evans said.
The IAM leadership “has the authority to accept or reject Boeing’s offer without a ratification vote,” the letter said, adding that therefore “the union owed you no duty of fair representation … with respect to the manner in which the vote was conducted.”
The NLRB’s regional attorney, Anne Pomerantz, declined to comment on the status of the complaints except to say a final decision will be issued by the end of this month.
Dominic Gates: (206) 464-2963 or firstname.lastname@example.org