Boeing machinists reject "best and final" labor deal for 777X

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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David Strom 8:41 PM on January 30, 2023