Machinists chief once called pensions 'sacred'

Machinists chief once called pensions 'sacred'
Boeing photo of the 777X
SEATTLE (AP) - The national union chief who has forced a vote on a pension-freezing Boeing contract proposal once called those retirement plans sacred and derided alternatives as risky.

In statements during the past few years, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers president Tom Buffenbarger has advised union members about the importance of protecting defined-benefit pensions.

Boeing workers, predominantly in the Puget Sound area, are set to vote Friday on a proposal that would freeze existing pensions and deny fixed pensions to new employees.

Since machinists rejected an initial contract offer in November, 22 states have submitted bids to secure work on Boeing's new 777X aircraft.