Boston-Area Union Will Block
Factory Auction to Save Jobs
By Jane Slaughter
via Labor Notes
Nov. 29, 2010 – In a move to save factory jobs that evokes shades of the ’30s, the United Electrical Workers  are asking supporters to block a December 14 auction of presses and equipment from a plant south of Boston. The UE is calling for mass picketing and blockading of entrances to the 80-year-old plant if necessary.
Esterline Technologies Corp. of Bellevue, Washington, has refused to hold off on selling the equipment till another buyer can be found. The union’s request to buy the closed plant, which would create an employee-owned factory, has been ignored.
“They told us a year ago they did not want the presses or equipment,” said UE Local 204 President Scott Marques. “But they would rather junk them than sell them to us.”
The plant makes crucial door-seals and silicone gaskets for aircraft. Esterline is consolidating operations in Southern California and in Mexico.