Labor rally in Seattle for Boeing machinists

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by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News and the Associated Press

KREM.com

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 9:14 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 18 at 9:21 PM

SEATTLE -- The Washington State Labor Council held a Monday afternoon at Seattle’s Westlake Park in support of Boeing union workers.

The council says it wanted to show Boeing and state leaders it supports Machinists union members who voted last week to reject contract concessions Boeing said it needed to build the new 777x in Washington.

The council says the purpose of the “build it here” rally is to send a message that the Machinists deserve to not only build Boeing’s next new plane in Washington but to share in the company’s prosperity.

"These are not hard times. They have record sales, record profits, stock prices through the roof. We're not asking for any unfair portion of that prosperity just our fair share," said Wilson Ferguson with the International Association of Machinists and long time Boeing worker. 

A long list of speakers took turns at the podium, including Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, newly-elected Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant and leaders representing several different unions including Boeing machinists. 

Ferguson said he is hopeful both sides can return to the bargaining table. So far, Boeing hasn't announced any plans to meet again with the union since last week's vote rejecting the company's offer that would've cut employee pensions but guaranteed production of the 777x in Washington. The company has said it hopes to decide where it will build the plane within three months.

Over the weekend at the Dubai Airshow, three Middle Eastern airlines signed up to buy 225 of the large, fuel-efficient widebodies in deals worth $95 billion.

 

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