Inslee calls special session to keep 777X in Wash.

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by KING 5 News and Associated Press

NWCN.com

Posted on November 5, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 6 at 7:11 AM

SEATTLE - Boeing has proposed an eight-year contract agreement that would guarantee construction of Boeing's new large plane, the 777X, in the Puget Sound region.

Meanwhile, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is calling the Legislature back to Olympia for a special session in hopes of swiftly approving a 777X package that Boeing would approve.

Inslee said Tuesday he wants lawmakers to approve the bills in just one week in hopes of getting Boeing to construct the 777X in Washington. It includes a massive transportation spending bill that lawmakers have spent the better part of a year debating. It would also extend tax breaks all the way to 2040. Read more details of the 777X Legislative package.

"The Boeing company, in clear, unequivocal and concrete terms, says if these two things happen, we're going to get the largest aerospace economic expansion program in my lifetime, and it's going to happen when we pass this legislative package, and when this deal is finalized by the members," said Inslee.

Read: 777x contract proposal summary

Senate leaders agreed to have the special legislative session.
  
Inslee says the jobs are set for Puget Sound if the state acts now.

"In the coming days I'm sure the Boeing company machinists will have more to say about the circumstances," Inslee added, "but I can tell you that it is a lead pipe cinch that we're going to land this airplane if we do the two things that we need to do, and I'm very confident of that."

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) said in a statement that their 35,000 members will vote soon on Boeing's proposal that, if approved, will guarantee the Boeing 777X wings and fuselage will be built by IAM members in the Puget Sound area. Members will likely vote on the contract extension the middle of next week.

The Machinists Union estimates the 777X deal could mean as many as 20,000 direct and indirect jobs in the region. 

Boeing's proposal includes some modifications to the current labor agreement that affect pensions and retirement plans.  Once the proposal is ratified, members would be paid a $10,000 signing bonus.

While full details of the contract have not been released, what Boeing workers are hearing so far does not have them pleased. Many are concerned what this means for healthcare and payscale, but key points of proposal will not be shared until Wednesday at the earliest.

“They want us to be the ones who break it. They want to be able to say, ‘We offered the membership the opportunity, but they’re not playing along with us,'" said William Wallace, a 25-year Boeing veteran. “Of course everyone wants stability in the region, so why not make it something we all can agree to.”

Full details of the changes and proposals will be provided by District 751 and W-24 to IAM members.  A schedule of ratification voting is being prepared and will be communicated to IAM members. 

KING5's Glenn Farley, Liza Javier, Eric Wilkinson and Susan Wyatt and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

 

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