More than 180 workers at a Kent, Wash. plant owned by Hytek Finishes, which manufactures parts for the aerospace giant Boeing and other companies, voted on Saturday to authorize a strike. The move was triggered by Hytek’s refusal to negotiate fairly, says Machinists Union District 751, which represents the workers. The vote was followed by a picket training in preparation for the strike.
According to the Machinists' press release, more than two-thirds of District 751's members voted to reject a four-year contract offer from Hytek and to strike.
Kevin Cummings is the lead negotiator for the workers at Hytek, a Boeing supplier. (Bryan Corliss)
“It’s impossible for two sides to negotiate a fair contract when only one side is playing by the rules,” said the Machinists' lead negotiator, Kevin Cummings.
The contract would be Hytek workers’ first with management; they voted to unionize under the Machinists District 751 in October 2011. The union says that negotiations have centered on healthcare coverage, wages and working conditions. The machinists “operate in toxic and hazardous conditions every day," said Cummings. "They are underpaid and their medical coverage creates more hardships than it fixes.”