MILL CREEK, Wash. - Shannon Ryker
is a third-generation employee of aerospace giant Boeing Co.
grandfather into the huge plant in nearby Everett.
youngest sister worked at Boeing
Both of Ryker's brothers-in-law and one of their dads work there.
other sister's stepson has applied for a Boeing job.
So it wasn't easy for the 37-year-old mechanic to sit down in her
crowded apartment here on a recent Sunday and write to Boeing
management about her
"Like my 86-year-old grandmother, I would like to tell my children and grandchildren that 'Boeing has been good to this family,'" Ryker
wrote in an open letter that has since landed on company break-room tables and in co-workers' email in-boxes.
But now, she said, "I no longer can hold my head high and say I am proud to work at Boeing."
At issue is the company's hunt for a site to build its newest airliner, the 777X.
Ryker and other members of the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 751 overwhelmingly voted last month to reject a contract that would have cut some pension plans and healthcare benefits but guaranteed the program would stay in the Pacific Northwest.
, in her
letter to Boeing's Conner, spoke for many union members when she
planned "no" vote: "I have told my father ...
needs to wake up and smell the Seattle's Best coffee.
and its largely unionized workforce were insulated from global competition for years.
There are workers all over the world who can do her
job just as well for a lot less money.