SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing machinists have approved a contract that would concede some pension and health care benefits in order to secure assembly of the company's new 777X airplane in the Puget Sound region.
The offer fractured the union and drew unusual pleas from local politicians who said the deal is necessary to support the region's economic future. Boeing had been exploring the prospect of building the 777X elsewhere, a move that could've triggered a steady exodus of aerospace jobs from a region where Boeing was founded.
Local union officials urged their 30,000 members to oppose the deal, arguing that the proposal surrenders too much at a time when the company is profitable.
After machinists rejected an initial proposal in November, Boeing received submissions for 54 locations in 22 states that wanted the 777X work.
CHICAGO (AP) — Boeing says it has begun telling states whether they're still in the running to build its new 777X.
Boeing has gotten proposals from 22 states including Missouri that all want to build the plane. Boeing says it is narrowing the list down and is telling each location its status in the process. Boeing isn't releasing the list publicly.
The company says it expects to pick a location early next year.
Boeing began looking for a new location to build the successor to its popular 777 after union workers in Washington state rejected a deal that would have kept the work there. The 777X is expected to bring thousands of well-paying jobs to wherever it is assembled.
Boeing is aiming to deliver the plane in 2020.
When the state of Missouri presents it's economic package to Boeing Tuesday, it'll include an extra tax incentive from St. Louis County.
Monday night, the County Council unanimously approved a preliminary package that could be worth as much as $1.8 billion if Boeing agrees to build the 777X commercial airliner near Lambert Airport. The specific form of the incentives will take has not yet been determined, but could include TIFs, or tax increment financing.
Both County Executive Charlie Dooley and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay addressed the County Council last night in an effort to win the incentives. Both made the case that the number of jobs the plant would bring would mean a significant economic boost to the region. Production of the plane could bring as many as 8,000 new jobs to the St. Louis area.
With the county incentives and the tax breaks approved by state lawmakers last week, Missouri's bid to win the plant is worth nearly $3.5 billion over 20 years.
More than a dozen communities are vying for the new Boeing plant. The aerospace company is expected to make a decision in January 2014.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two Boeing employees who are Missouri lawmakers took different approaches when the House considered a package of incentives for their company to assemble a new passenger jet in the St. Louis area.
Rep. Doug Funderburk, who is a longtime Boeing electrician, passionately urged colleagues to approve the legislation Friday. He voted "yes" as the bill passed the House 127-20.
Funderburk told The Associated Press he didn't think it posed a conflict of interest because he plans to retire within a few years. He said Boeing officials had no conversations with him about the legislation.
Representative Clem Smith, who is a machinist on the Boeing F-18, abstained from voting. Smith told The AP the bill presented a conflict of interest, because it could mean more money in his pocket.