Many Boeing Machinists convinced vote will flip

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by JAKE WHITTENBERG / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on January 2, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 3 at 8:41 PM

Ahead of a crucial, second contract vote among Boeing Machinists on Friday, many employees feel the results of the previous 2-to-1 rejection will flip.

"With the previous vote, I think 'yes’ voters were intimidated to come out and publically express how they felt," said Paul Fritzler, a Boeing Machinist who is partly behind a Facebook page urging union members to take the deal. He and his family have helped organize several rallies in support of the contract, too.

Boeing has proposed an 8-year contract that it says would guarantee production of the new 777X wide bodied airplane be in the Puget Sound region. Boeing has sweetened the deal for Machinists for this second vote by increasing the signing bonus and making it easier for employees to move up the pay scale.

Still, the most contentious issue of removing the pension plan remains.

There is still a strong contingent of machinists who are voting no. Union leaders within the local chapter of the International Association of Machinists are also urging a no vote.

"It’s about saving our integrity," said Roger Walker, a Boeing Machinist set on voting no. "We built this company and all we get is, 'take a pay cut or we auction off your job".

The IAM local 751 is organizing a Thursday rally at the Seattle Union hall.

Polls will open at 5:30 a.m. Friday and close at 6 p.m. Votes will be tallied at each of the five locations and results should be released by 9 p.m.

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