On March 23, 2018 workers at UTC Aerospace Systems in Everett, WA, who build landing gear for the 737, 747 and 767 tanker, voted overwhelmingly for union representation by IAM District 751.
Below are a few excerpts from the latest edition of the District 751 Aero Mechanic.
Workers at the UTC Everett plant approached IAM 751 about representation after news that UTC is buying out Rockwell Collins in a deal worth more than $30 billion. After several multi-billion dollar acquisitions, workers felt they needed protection and security for their families.
“We are excited to welcome these workers into our IAM union family. They play a critical supplier role for the 737 and other Boeing airplane lines, and we are proud to be their advocate,” said IAM District 751 President Jon Holden. “It’s our job now to negotiate a contract that recognizes the contributions these members make toward UTC’s success and reward them for their hard work and skills.”
Adrian Perez has worked for the company 14 years and worked in the landing gear shop for 5 years.
“There have been a lot of changes, and a lot of them for the worse,” said Perez. “With all the billions spent on buyouts, no one is looking out for us. We knew we had to unionize now.”
Joshua Whitcomb, who has worked at UTC building landing gear for 12 years, echoed those sentiments. He takes tremendous pride in his work, has continually given 110 percent and is proud whenever a Boeing plane takes flight knowing he played a role in making the plane safe.
“The workers who generate the profits should share in the prosperity we create,” said Whitcomb. “This is very skilled labor and not just anyone can perform our work. With the IAM, I believe we will prosper too
“Throughout this battle, the company referred to the union as a third party. That was their mistake,” said Perez. “The union is us. It is an investment in ourselves for a better future,”
“We will use all our resources to secure a contract they are proud of and ensure their collective voices are heard,” said Holden. “Joining the Machinists Union gives these workers the dignity and fairness they deserve at work and allows them to plan for their future.”
The NLRB must still certify the results, but IAM 751 is moving forward to survey members to identify issues in their workplace.
Read the District 751 Aero Mechanic article.