A sweeping series of takeaway proposals from the Boeing Company led to a unanimous strike vote by the highly-skilled members of Local 2296 in Havelock, NC. The striking Machinists maintain F15 flight simulators used for training at Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, NC.
The rejected contract included deletion of the vision plan, takeaways on the dental plan, elimination of 401(k) match, elimination of the pension savings plan, elimination of sick leave and doubling of members’ share of medical premiums. Taking part in the negotiations and recommending a vote to reject the offer was Aerospace Territory SR Mark Johnson, Aerospace Chief of Staff Ray Moffatt, Aerospace SR Jody Bennett and District Lodge 110 DBR Ron Shafer.
“The line is very strong and we are getting great support from members from around the base and the community, as well as IAM locals in nearby states,” said District 110 DBR Ron Shafer who reports that IAM members working for other contractors have provided food, water and support. Spouses and family members are also involved.
“The takeaways proposed by the Boeing Company add up to more than $6,000 per year, per employee,” said Aerospace Territory GVP Mark Blondin. “We will stay out as long as it takes to get a fair offer and to secure an agreement that protects benefits that have been won over several years of bargaining on multiple contracts. These members have shown the courage to battle a giant in our industry, while Boeing is showing little regard for the talents, expertise and loyalty that our members bring to the workplace.”
Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez praised the members of Local 2296 and pledged full support and solidarity for their struggle. “These IAM members are upholding the proud tradition of The Fighting Machinists,” said Martinez. “They obviously will not back down, and they will fight for the benefits they have earned. The Southern Territory and the IAM will stand with them in their battle for justice on the job.”