Union agrees: Boeing 777x to be built in Washington


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In the end, Boeing will be staying home.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers voted Friday to accept an eight-year contract extension with Boeing that will ensure the company’s new 777X aircraft will be built in the Puget Sound area.

After the union rejected a contract offer in November, governors from around the country lined up to woe the company to build the new aircraft in their state and get 56,000 jobs and $20 billion in economic activity over the next several decades that came with it.

That all became unnecessary, though, when the union passed the resolution with a 51 percent to 49 percent vote following pressure from top union officials and Washington state lawmakers, who late last year provided the company with $8.7 billion in tax incentives through 2040.

“Tonight, Washington State secured its future as the aerospace capital of the world,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said.

In total, 22 states offered to assemble the 777X, including Missouri and Alabama that offered the company lucrative incentives to move production of the aircraft, which Boeing has called the jetliner of the next century.

Boeing had promised to do final assembly of its planned 777X in the Puget Sound area and assemble the plane’s composite wings there if the machinists approved the eight-year contract extension, which will be added to a contract running through 2016.

To persuade union members, Boeing added a $5,000 one-time payment to each worker, to be given in January 2020, on top of a $10,000 per employee signing bonus upon ratification.

In the biggest revision, Boeing agreed to preserve the current six-year progression it takes for new employees to reach full pay. In the earlier deal, that would have taken at least 16 years.

Most of the 31,000 machinists eligible to vote were in Washington, but some worked in Oregon and Kansas.

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