Machinists union submits contract offer to Boeing for 777X work in Washington

By Liz Segrist
Published Dec. 12, 2013

Representatives of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 751 submitted a preliminary proposal for a contract to the Boeing Co. to secure 777X work for the Puget Sound in Washington state.

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The union is not disclosing any of the terms of its Wednesday offer. The union anticipates that Boeing will respond to the offer today.

The proposal comes four weeks after Machinists union members voted by a margin of 2-to-1 to reject a proposed eight-year contract with Boeing that would have secured 777X wing fabrication and final assembly work for the region.

Top union representatives and Boeing executives — including Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes Group’s President and CEO Ray Conner — met Tuesday and Wednesday to “hear both sides.”

Tom Wroblewski, the president of Machinists union District Lodge 751, described the tone of Wednesday’s talks as “respectful and constructive,” but said the two sides are not close to an agreement.

“We tried to craft a proposal that would meet the needs of our members, while also ensuring the long-term success of the Boeing Co. in Washington state,” Wroblewski said in a statement.

States have been vying for Boeing’s 777X following the union’s vote in November. Boeing requested proposals from 15 states or municipalities, which were due Tuesday. Boeing plans to announce its 777X site or sites early next year.

“Our members want Boeing to be successful, and Boeing’s best chance of success for the 777X is to build it here, utilizing their skills, experience and dedication,” Wroblewski said. “A business analyst might call our Machinists the high-skill, low-risk solution to Boeing’s manufacturing needs. I’d just call us the best aerospace workers in the world.”

Reach Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119 or @lizsegrist on Twitter.

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