Boeing says union vote will decide fate of jobs

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by Associated Press and KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 30 at 8:29 PM

SEATTLE  -- Boeing Co. told political leaders in the Puget Sound on Monday that this week’s vote by Machinists will determine the fate of some jobs on the new 777X airplane.

In a press conference, local politicians gathered in Everett to discuss the importance of approving the revised contract offer. Boeing executive Ray Conner told the government leaders earlier in the day that an accepted contract will ensure that the wing work stays in the Puget Sound, but a vote to reject the deal will ensure the jobs go elsewhere.

Just days ahead of the new union vote on the Boeing contract, local lawmakers are urging Machinists to vote yes.

Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson says 777X production is key to the region's future.

"And that really speaks, in my view, to the long term predictability of jobs and revenue in our state for decades to come," said Stephanson.

Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke says there is no other choice but to vote yes. Otherwise, the politicians warned of a decline in the state’s aerospace industry.

“We will see the demise of the economic stimulus that Boeing has provided us,” Cooke said.

Former Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewell says in the long run, a yes vote on Boeing's offer is worth 20,000 jobs and $20 billion for Washington state.

Local union leaders have opposed the contract because they believe it involves too many concessions, including a plan to shift workers away from traditional pensions. National leaders in International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers have scheduled a vote despite the objections of local officials.

Since the Machinists rejected a contract offer last month, the company has solicited bids from other states. A total of 22 states have submitted offers to secure work on the 777X.

Boeing’s warning on Monday focused on the composite wing needed for the 777X. John Lovick, the Snohomish County executive, said Boeing plans to build a 1.2 million square foot building in order to construct the wing in the Puget Sound if the Machinists approve the latest offer.

The political leaders said the company’s warnings didn’t address where the fuselage would be built if Machinists reject the offer.

 

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