Boeing’s machinists voted last Friday to accept some steep contract concessions in return for management’s promise to build the 777X in the Puget Sound region of Washington state, finally succumbing to corporate pressure to relinquish their defined benefits pension plan for a 401k-style arrangement. The vote hardly reflected any sort of consensus, however, and highlighted a rift between workers willing to stand on a principle and those who claim a responsible sense of pragmatism.
Puget Sound region
Boeing has issued requests for proposals to more than a dozen potential sites for assembly, parts fabrication, paint, delivery and wing production of the new 777X widebody, the company confirmed to AIN last week. The release of the RFPs comes barely more than a week after Boeing’s machinists union voted down a proposed contract extension described as critical to locating the work in the Puget Sound region of Washington state.
Boeing will be exploring “all options” for production site locations for the new 777X, not only Seattle, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner told a gathering of reporters in Dubai on Saturday. His statement followed the rejection by company machinists of a contract extension proposal, which featured a Boeing commitment to build the airplane and its carbon-fiber wing in the Puget Sound region of Washington state. Conner insisted that Boeing had offered a fair proposal and that the company “has no plans” to return to the bargaining table.
Boeing and a trio of Arabian Gulf airlines have set the stage for what could prove one of the most memorable Dubai Air Shows ever, as the parties neared conclusion of negotiations of reported contracts for up to approximately 200 of the new 777X, valued at some $80 billion at list prices. The deals appear likely to effectively launch the project here in Dubai, where executives for Emirates Airline have spent more than two years helping define the ultimate shape of the 350- to 400-seat jet, entry into service of which Boeing has targeted for around 2020.
The union representing Boeing machinists scheduled a November 13 vote on a new contract offer from the company that is described as critical to its decision to base work on the new 777X widebody in the Puget Sound region of Washington state. The basing decision also depends on the state legislature’s approving an incentives package, according to Gov. Jay Inslee.
Boeing Business Jet completion center Greenpoint Technologies (Stand 651) has selected Boeing’s Global Transport & Executive Systems (GTES) facility in Wichita, Kansas, to install its new 747-8 Aeroloft interior.
The alacrity with which Boeing assumed control of the former Vought plant in South Carolina this past summer, secured the necessary construction approvals for an adjacent factory and reached a decision on the ultimate location of a second 787 Dreamliner assembly line had already led to skepticism about the company’s commitment to negotiating with its workers based around Washington state’s Puget Sound.
Production and maintenance workers at the former Vought plant in North Charleston, S.C., won approval today from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to vote to remove the International Association of Machinists (IAM) as their collective bargaining representative.