Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Union rejects Boeing contract

SEATTLE -- Members of the Machinists union Wednesday voted 67 percent to reject a contract offer that would have assured the company builds the new 777X in Washington state. The proposed contract was for eight years and including benefit cuts, but members said they refused to be forced into a hasty decision under a management threat that they would lose future work. The vote leaves in limbo an incentive package with $8.7 billion in new tax breaks over 16 years. That was passed last weekend in a special session of the Legislature to comply with one of Boeing's conditions for the jet work. Boeing has said that if the International Association of Machinists rejected the contract, the company would seek other sites for the 777X project. Sources close to Boeing said this week its analysis of alternatives focused on Long Beach, Calif.; Salt Lake City; and Huntsville, Ala. Charleston, S.C., where Boeing has a 787 plant, has also been mentioned before. Looking for other locations for the 777 plant doesn't preclude further negotiation with the state and the union. (Source: Seattle Times, 11/13/13) Gulf Coast note: Boeing has multiple operations in the Gulf Coast region. Its rival, Airbus, is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala. Background column 11/2/13