Boeing issued this statement late last night on the news the IAM likely won’t approve the contract offer in exchange for Boeing siting the 777X assembly in Everett:
All of our options are still on the table, including those within Boeing and other interest we have received from outside.
We chose to engage in Puget Sound first, but without full acceptance by the union and legislature, we will be left with no choice but to open up the process competitively and pursue other options for locating 777X work. If this is not ratified per the scheduled union vote on November 13th, we will begin taking the next steps.
Our comment: Some IAM members evidently think Boeing is bluffing. This view is fantasy. Boeing will put the 777X elsewhere (Charleston being the obvious choice).
This is an extremely negative turn of events for Puget Sound, for Boeing and the IAM. If the IAM disapproves this contract and Boeing puts the 777X in Charleston (or Texas or anywhere else), we see open warfare between the union and Boeing, with union payback coming in 2016 when the current contract expires. The 2008 57-day strike was payback for prior outsourcing. We can easily see a strike in 2016.
Boeing will continue to move jobs out of Washington State if this deal is rejected. As distasteful as contract provisions are, it seems the IAM membership would rather cut its nose off to spite its face than to save and create jobs. We’ve seen this before. We hope we won’t see this again.
To set a flavor of member sentiment directly from them, see IAM 751’s Facebook page. When we looked last night, there were more than 400 comments, all but a handful negative.
This is a very negative, discouraging turn of events.
Some Washington Legislators say that in exchange for tax breaks for the 777X, Boeing must commit to build all 777Xs and derivatives in this state, reports The Seattle Times. This requirement was absent from the 2003 tax breaks Washington granted Boeing for the 787 final assembly line, leaving it open for Boeing to place the 787 Line 2 elsewhere.
South Carolina is ready to step up on 777X, Tweets the Charleston Post and Courier.
It’s perhaps worth reading a couple of our own posts from 2009 when Boeing chose to put 787 Line 2 in Charleston: