December 19, 2013 in Region

Boeing machinists take sides at rally

Associated Press

EVERETT – A small rally Wednesday led by Machinists calling for a vote on Boeing’s latest contract proposal ended with an animated debate in front of the union hall.

Chanting “give us a vote” and holding signs, about three dozen people marched from Boeing Co.’s campus to the local union hall in Everett. The rally came six days after local union leaders said the company’s offer was too similar to one that workers rejected last month.

“We just wanted to be heard,” said James Christofferson, who marched with the pro-vote crowd. “We think they made enough significant changes to the contract that it would change the way it went last time.”

A handful of other union workers who oppose a new vote also gathered at the hall. The two sides engaged in an animated debate about whether a vote should happen.

Aaron Powell was one of the men who met the rallying group. He said that despite the small number of members rallying, they can still create a rift within the union.

Powell said the union is stronger if the membership remains together.

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