It's been a tumultuous couple of months for Boeing machinists across Puget Sound. Thursday night, they elected a new leader. 41-year-old Jon Holden beat out two other candidates, with 2,163 votes.
He replaces Tom Wroblewski, who retired in January due to health reasons, after almost seven years as president of the 32,000-member union.
Holden's opponent John Lopez, Junior received 540 votes, while Roy Wilkinson brought in 142 votes.
Machinists who were at union headquarters when the results were announced cheered when they learned Holden had won. Many of them hugged him and shook his hand in the moments that followed.
Holden was sworn in just a few minutes later.
"Our members are a strong membership with a storied history, they've had a lot of success," he said. "And we have to try to rebuild, but nothing is going to come easy. So we have a lot of work to do in getting our members involved and engaged, which is the only way to do it."
Holden is from Bothell and was hired at Boeing Everett plant 17 years ago.
In a press release, he vowed to do a better job of listening to and reflecting the will of the membership. He said he'll do so through regular membership surveys, town hall-style meetings at local union halls, and conferences to inform members of their rights under contracts.
He also said he'll plan regular factory-floor visits to ensure he's in touch with members.
He assumes the duties of District 751 president, effective immediately.