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Machinists Election May Be Flawed

Wed., July 9, 1997

U.S. Department of Labor investigators say election laws may have been violated when Bill Johnson was re-elected president of The Boeing Co.’s largest union.

Johnson probably used union money to win a second term in January as head of District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, according to the department’s preliminary findings.

An earlier internal investigation by the union found no evidence Johnson and his supporters violated union or federal laws in the election, in which Johnson beat David Clay by 174 votes. Clay and others filed complaints with the Labor Department last month.

In a letter to Johnson and IAM international president Thomas Buffenbarger, department investigators said union billing accounts were improperly used to promote Johnson’s slate by renting vans to transport supporters to the polls on election day.

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