SEATTLE (CBS Seattle/AP) — A newly elected Socialist city council member wants Boeing machinists to take possession of an airplane-building factory if the company decides to move out of state.
“The workers should take over the factories, and shut down Boeing’s profit-making machine,” Council member-elect Kshama Sawant told union supporters earlier this week, according to KIRO-TV.
Sawant claims Boeing executives are taking part in “economic terrorism” considering out-of-state locations to build the new 777X airliner after machinists rejected a contract that would have guaranteed jobs in Everett for eight years.
“The only response we can have if Boeing executives do not agree to keep the plant here is for the machinists to say, ‘The machines are here, the workers are here, we will do the job, we don’t need the executives. The executives don’t do the work, the machinists do,” she told union supporters in Westlake Park, according to KIRO.
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She said machinists taking over the building would be “democratic ownership.”
“We can re-tool the machines to produce mass transit like buses, instead of destructive … war machines,” she told KIRO, referring to drones.
Boeing said it would consider a new location to build the airplane after union members rejected a proposed contract in Seattle last week.
A gubernatorial aide in Washington state has said that state will likely get competition from places including Alabama, where unions have less of a foothold.
Boeing executives say a decision on a manufacturing location could come by early next year
In the contract vote late Wednesday, The International Association of Machinists District 751 rejected the proposal with 67 percent of the votes. Union members who called for a no vote did so in protest of Boeing’s push to end a traditional pension plan and increase their health care costs.
The deal would have exchanged those concessions for the long-term stability expected with the 777X line. Workers would have received a $10,000 signing bonus if they approved the deal.
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