Landmark vote could change state's aerospace industry

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by HEATHER GRAF / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherGrafK5

KING5.com

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 11:53 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 13 at 7:56 AM

On Wednesday evening, thousands of ballots will be counted, and only then will we know whether machinists have agreed to an eight-year contract extension being offered by Boeing.

In the days leading up to that vote, members of the machinists union have held rallies in both Renton and Everett.

On Tuesday evening, some of them even showed up at the council meeting for District 751, in hopes of getting some last minute information from union leadership.

"I think the company is blackmailing us, more or less," said Omar Abdul-Alim, who has worked as a machinist at Boeing since 1989.

He showed up at union headquarters just as the council meeting was ending, and as he headed in for third shift, he planned to speak to as many of his coworkers as possible.

"I'm voting no, and I'm encouraging a lot of my coworkers to vote no, I will make no apology for it," he said.

A few machinists said they planned to vote yes, saying they believed approving the contract will save jobs.

Voting results are expected by about 9 p.m. on Wednesday. 

Ballots will be counted at Union Headquarters on 15th Place South in Seattle. 

Boeing has said that if the machinists do not approve the contract now on the table, the company will considering looking elsewhere for a place to build the 777x.

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