WA machinists union votes on Boeing 777-x project

WA machinists union vote on Boeing 777-x project

A vote is underway that will determine the fate of Boeing's 777-x project.

The 31,000 members of the Washington machinists union are voting on a second Boeing proposal after voting down the first one.

This is a vote that will not only impact union workers in Washington, but maybe also residents right here in the Lowcountry. Boeing has said this is the last time they will be offering a proposal to the union in Washington. If they reject it again, thousands of jobs will be up for grabs.

Connie Kelliher, a representative for the machinists union, says that some of the polling places are reporting fewer people showing up then when they voted in November.

Kelliher believes the holidays are working against them because some of her colleagues are still on vacation.

She says that they're essentially considering the same proposal they already rejected and they still have concerns about retirement benefits and health care costs.

However, one big thing is different this time around when they're voting - the outside pressure.

"Politicians here have weighed in and tried to pressure our members by buying radio ads, full page newspaper ads telling our members to vote yes for it," said Kelliher. "They're getting pressured from all sides and it's from people that have no personal stake in this and it couldn't be more personal for our members."

Kelliher says asking their members to decide their economic future for the next ten years is not something they are taking lightly. The 777-x contract could bring 10,000 new jobs to Washington.

Voting will continue at five locations in Puget Sound throughout the day. The final tally won't be gathered until well into Friday night.

We will continue to update you on this story as it unfolds.

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