Boeing to "pursue all options" after union rejects proposal

WASHINGTON (WCSC) - - Boeing plans to reopen the selection process after members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Washington state rejected an offer that would have brought production of the company's 777X to the Puget Sound.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner issued the following statement after the contract as voted down:

"We are very disappointed in the outcome of the union vote. Our goal was two-fold: to enable the 777X and its new composite wing to be produced in Puget Sound and to create a competitive structure to ensure that we continue market-leading pay, health care and retirement benefits while preserving jobs and our industrial base here in the region. But without the terms of this contract extension, we're left with no choice but to open the process competitively and pursue all options for the 777X."

 In a press release, the union says members rejected the offer by a vote of 67%.  Union leadership issued the following statement on the vote:

"Today, the democratic process worked and our members made the decision to not accept the company's proposal. It is my belief that we represent the best aerospace workforce in the world and hope that as a result of this vote Boeing will not discard our skills when looking to place the 777X.

"We preserved something sacred by rejecting the Boeing proposal. We've held on to our pensions and that's big. At a time when financial planners are talking about a 'retirement crisis' in America, we have preserved a tool that will help our members retire with more comfort and dignity."

Boeing was offering an eight-year contract, which would have expired in 2024.

The company has said if the union rejects the proposal, it will look elsewhere for production, like South Carolina.  Lieutenant Governor Glenn McConnell has said he is confident lawmakers will make Boeing a competitive offer for bringing production to South Carolina.

Copyright 2013 WCSC. All rights reserved.