Washington State Officials: Boeing Is the Future

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Boeing 777 Interior

A Friday vote by members of Boeing’s (NYSE:BA) largest union in Washington state will determine if the jet manufacturer will locate a major new assembly line for its redesigned 777X in the Puget Sound area. It’s a program that will inject millions of dollars into the local economy and keep thousands of high-paying aerospace jobs in the region.

By a margin of two to one, members of the District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists voted down the first eight-year contract extension that Boeing laid on the table. Following that decision, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner issued a statement announcing that “without the terms of this contract extension, [the company was] left with no choice but to open the process competitively and pursue all options for the 777X.”

Twenty-two states, anxious to secure high-pay jobs and the prestige of being home to the operations of a prominent aerospace manufacturer, responded with bids within weeks. While the company knows that labor expenses would be lower in those states still under consideration, Washington was not completely ruled out. The manufacturer agreed to back away from its attempts to slow the pay scale rate of machinists while adding an additional $5,000 bonus and better dental coverage to its updated offer.

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