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If Union Agrees, Boeing 777x Final Assembly in Everett, Wings Somewhere in Puget Sound

November 5, 2013

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Boeing Everett plant

It could be a very Merry Christmas in Everett if machinists get 10k bonus.

Word out today that Boeing and the Machinists Union have agreed in principle to a contract that could pay machinists union members in Everett a $10,000.00 bonus just before Christmas. The proposal between the Boeing Company and machinists would extend the current agreement between the two from 2016 to 2024. The agreement also provides big changes to the machinists retirement and wage plans. The agreement still has to be ratified by a vote of the machinists union membership. Both the Machinists press release as well as a statement from Boeing referenced Puget Sound but didn’t make any reference directly to Everett. In an email to MyEverettNews.com this evening, Boeing spokesperson Marc R. Birtel wrote: Everett for 777X final assembly. Puget Sound for 777X wing.

Here is the press release issued by the International Association of Machinists…

Washington, D.C., November 5, 2013 – Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 751, District W-24 will vote on a proposal from the Boeing Company that, if approved, would guarantee the Boeing 777X wings and fuselage will be built by IAM members in the Puget Sound.

In exchange for the 777X guarantee, Boeing proposes a new eight-year labor agreement that will expire in September 2024, providing an unprecedented degree of labor stability in the volatile and competitive industry.

“Securing the Boeing 777X for the Puget Sound means much more than job security for thousands of IAM members,” said District 751 Directing Business Representative Tom Wroblewski. “It means decades of economic activity for the region and will anchor the next generation of wide-body aircraft production right here in its historic birthplace and will complement the 737MAX narrow body.”

According to estimates, the 777X could mean as many as 10,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs in the immediate vicinity, with the project also serving as a long-term hub for advanced technology in electronics, avionics and composite technology required by the 777X.

The proposal by Boeing includes additional modifications to the current labor agreement, including cessation of pension accruals for current employees and the establishment of an alternative company-funded retirement plan. Additionally, within 30 days of ratification, all members would be paid a $10,000 signing bonus.

Full details of all changes in the proposal will be provided directly by District 751 and W-24 to IAM members as soon as printing can be completed. A schedule of ratification voting is also being prepared and will be communicated directly to IAM members.

“Only a project as significant as the 777X and the jobs it will bring to this region warrants consideration of the terms contained in Boeing’s proposal,” said Wroblewski. “While not all will agree with the proposal’s merits, but we believe this is a debate and a decision that ultimately belongs to the members themselves.”

The IAM represents more than 35,000 Boeing workers and is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America. For more information about District 751, visit www.iam751.org.

Here is the statement issued by the Boeing Company late this afternoon…

SEATTLE, Nov. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Boeing Commercial Airplanes (NYSE: BA) has issued a statement from President and CEO Ray Conner in response to International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District 751’s decision to proceed with its efforts to secure a historic long-term contract extension that would result in locating final assembly of the new 777X and fabrication and assembly of the airplane’s wing in Puget Sound.”

“I want to congratulate IAM District 751 Directing Business Representative Tom Wroblewski for his leadership, vision and determination to forge an agreement of historic proportion that, when ratified, will secure and extend thousands of high-wage, high-skilled aerospace jobs and expanded economic opportunity for residents of Puget Sound and Portland for many years to come,” said Conner. “Tom and his team pressed hard for an agreement that maintains market-leading pay and benefits for the members he represents, while also recognizing the critical importance of our efforts to achieve increasing competitiveness in order to win against a growing list of global competitors.

“This is important to everyone with a stake in Boeing – including our employees, the community and our customers – and we look forward to the ratification and a long successful future as the global leader in aerospace,” Conner said.

Governor Jay Inslee has called the Legislature into a special session to pass a transportation plan and provide other incentives to keep the 777x program in Washington State.

Finally, here’s Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson’s statement on today’s announcements…

I am elated that Boeing and the Machinists have reached a tentative agreement today. A strong agreement brings us one step closer to seeing the next generation of the 777 built in Everett.

Today’s announcement is a testament to the talent and experience of Boeing’s workers, across all fields. It’s also a testament to the promise and potential of the next generation of skilled workers who will be called upon to help design and build the 777X.

Many people across the state have worked for months to get us to this point. I especially want to thank the Governor and his staff, who have led our efforts to streamline permitting processes and push for transportation and higher education investments that are critical to the success of Puget Sound’s aerospace industry.

As mayor and lifelong resident of Everett, I look forward to seeing the next generation of the 777 take shape in our city. Boeing is part of the fabric of our community. They have long been a vital part of our economy, and help support more than 200 aerospace suppliers in Snohomish County alone. But Boeing is more than just an economic force. Today’s announcement represents security for our families, opportunities for our students and a continuing legacy as the home of the world’s premier aerospace company.

This agreement is a major milestone, but we have more work to do at both the state and local level to sustain our progress and help pave the way for the 777X in Washington state.

Congratulations to Boeing and the Machinists union for reaching this agreement today. We look forward to being a part of this new and exciting chapter of your history.

– Mayor Ray Stephanson

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