Boeing machinists reject “best and final” labor deal for 777X

posted at 8:51 am on December 13, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Almost exactly one month ago we looked at the hissy fit being thrown by the machinists union at Boeing and how they appeared to be forcing the biggest employer in their area to look to Right to Work states when they start building the new 777X. (This led to Seattle’s newest elected socialist calling for armed revolt.) Apparently somebody at the union office didn’t get the memo that Boeing was serious, because when their employer came back with an even more generous offer, they turned up their noses again.

Boeing Co. said the machinists union in Washington has rejected a “best and final” contract proposal that would ensure the aerospace giant would build its next-generation 777X airliner in the state.

The announcement came after the third day of meetings between Boeing and the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 751. The talks were the first between the two sides since the union overwhelmingly voted to reject a eight-year contract extension last month…

Washington is still in the running to build the twin-aisle jet, but it’s unclear whether Boeing will move forward without a deal with the machinists union. It represents more than 31,000 Boeing workers.

Obviously, Boeing has been working in the background exploring other options while the negotiations proceeded. They put out a call for offers from other, more employment friendly states, and have thus far received proposals from 22 of them. They report that some of the states have included multiple locations in their offers. (Even California tried to get in on the action.)

And who wouldn’t? You’re talking about thousands of direct employment jobs to set up and operate a plant to construct these giant aircraft. And that doesn’t count the multiplier effect, where an even larger number of jobs will be created to support the operation. And all of this was over what appeared to be some relatively minor concessions on the part of the union. Boeing was asking for newly hired machinists in the union to have portions of their pension plan moved into a 401K style plan… not even the existing workers. But apparently even that was too much of a burden to bear, so they may wind up killing the whole deal. I wonder how their members will feel when the once thriving center of economic activity turns into a ghost town?

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Seattle as a city will be OK as long as it has Microsoft. But Microsoft won’t be too interested in helping out or hiring uneducated non-geeky unionized airplane-makers. Maybe the unions will go picket Microsoft just for the hell of it.

NahnCee on December 13, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Didn’t Seattle have a basketball team? Whatever happened to the Supersonics? A hint to the Seattle union losers, they moved to Oklahoma.

Flange on December 13

Yep, and we just love our Thunder.

Thanks Seattle!

Hey, we could build the 777 at Tinker AFB….

8thAirForce on December 13, 2013 at 3:47 PM

8thAirForce on December 13, 2013 at 3:47 PM

With all due respect: eff off. It’s still too soon.

Mallard T. Drake on December 13, 2013 at 3:54 PM

A 21st-Century Detroit!

Another Drew on December 13, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Liberals are going to kill Seattle.

Fine by me.

29Victor on December 13, 2013 at 5:00 PM

As a single dad with 3 kids..i went to the boss for a raise. He said”why pay you 8 when i can get 2 guys for $4 an hour?”.that was 30 years ago. Im not a big fan of unions but all the kids are fed and gone, all conservatives, 2 in college, and this year we just might buy one of them flat TVs everybody has been talkin about. Boeing has been good to me. I voted on the contract…and just like national elections. .mine wasnt the winning side.

countmein on December 13, 2013 at 10:05 AM

This is rich, IMHO.

I worked in a mid-level office job at Ridley Park back in the days of RAH-66 for 18 months, and had the joy (!) of being around when the machinists there were preparing for a strike.

Thanks to very strict role qualifications, despite me having an MBA, I only had a couple years’ experience in the role area so the level 3 job I applied for was downgraded to a level 2 at offer. Having no other alternatives at the time, I took the role, which meant a 39% drop in salary from the role I had previously (vs a 22% drop, had I been paid at level 3 salary).

Now I knew that many of the machinists earned a lot more money than I did – but in the lead-up to the strike, if I walked across the street into the manufacturing plant, I was considered a “suit” and the nice Union scum workers made taunting remarks at me under their breath as I walked past them. And at that time, their benefits package was one of the best in the nation (2002).

What little respect I might have had for union workers up to that point was utterly destroyed by my experience at Ridley Park. Where union workers see rights, I see a bunch of spoiled children expecting ever more handouts, at the expense of everyone else.

Your comments about expecting a higher wage from your boss way back when because of your family situation at that time mean absolutely nothing – nothing at all – to the economics of running a company. As others have mentioned in this thread, I too have personally seen instances of unions driving wages up so high that plants eventually closed.

Good luck when Boeing finally wises up and relocates its manufacturing to right to work states.


Wanderlust on December 13, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Liberals are going to kill Seattle.
Fine by me.
29Victor on December 13, 2013 at 5:00 PM

I love my city. I hate to see what these idiots are doing to it.

Shadow on December 13, 2013 at 6:40 PM

The same moronic mindset resulted in GE Transportation (Locomotive Division) leaving Erie, PA for Texas. I hate the left.

DocinPA on December 13, 2013 at 10:02 PM

They should move the jobs to Canada. Just over the border. Do a deal with a realistic government. Might compensate for Obama’s Keystone idiocy.

virgo on December 14, 2013 at 2:23 AM

May be time to tell the union to just take a hike.

Amazingoly on December 14, 2013 at 10:52 AM


ARIZONAVETERAN on December 15, 2013 at 7:18 AM

I live and work in Charleston, we cant wait to start producing the 777 here!! ahahahhaahha eat dog food you seattle welfare trash-union-punks

ARIZONAVETERAN on December 15, 2013 at 7:20 AM