Pension holders push Boeing machinists toward deal
Dec. 31, 2013, Seattle, Wa. - Six political leaders have urged machinists in the Puget Sound to accept a proposed contract from Boeing that moves them away from a fixed-payment pension plan — even though the officials have the same type of retirement package.
December 31, 2013 By The Associated Press
On Monday, government and other officials gathered in Everett, Wash.,
to talk about the importance of machinists accepting a new contract
this week. Six called on union members to accept the deal, including one
who is already drawing pension payments and five others who are
expected to do so upon retirement.
Snohomish County executive John Lovick currently earns about $150,000
a year and is separately drawing more than $60,000 in pension payments
from his career in the Washington State Patrol, according to records
obtained by The Associated Press under public records law.
Lovick said he did not have the expertise to assess the differences
between retirement plans and didn't know how much machinists would have
to surrender under the plan.
He said his push for a deal centered on job security because Boeing
is vowing to produce the new 777X airplane in the region if the contract
"We want those good jobs to stay in this region," Lovick said.
Local union leaders are recommending a no vote on the contract
because they feel it has too many concessions. A major sticking point
has been Boeing's insistence that workers move from a traditional fixed
pension plan to a defined-contribution retirement savings plan.
National leaders of the International Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers scheduled a vote on Friday on the proposed contract,
despite the objections of local union officials. Since machinists
rejected an initial contract offer in November, a total of 22 states
have submitted bids to secure the work on the 777X.