Update, 11:30pm PST: KIRO TV (CBS Seattle) quotes Boeing spokesman Doug Alder as saying the Boeing offer has not been withdrawn, contradicting the IAM 751′s understanding.
Update, 9:10 PM PST: The Seattle Times reports the IAM 751 membership will get to vote on Boeing’s counter-contract offer after all.
Talks between Boeing and the IAM 751 machinists union failed to reach an agreement when Boeing presented a counter-proposal to the union’s offer that did’t budge on the pension issue, according to The Seattle Times.
KING5 TV (NBC Seattle) has this story.
Boeing’s statement is here.
IAM 751′s statement is below the jump (there isn’t a unique link to it).
The Boeing and IAM 751 statements paint a very different picture of the offers.
Although both sides now have said talks have ended, we fully expect political pressure on both sides to resume talks before Boeing makes a final decision on the 777X assembly site.
Boeing said it will make a decision early next year; our sources suggest this timeline is the end of January.
This leave a small window for a third try, but we’re not optimistic.
We believe that barring an agreement, Boeing Chicago will elect to put the 777X assembly site and wing production somewhere other than Washington.
We believe that those within the IAM membership who believe Boeing is bluffing are mistaken. One need look no further than the events leading to putting 787 Line 2 in Charleston. Members believed Boeing was bluffing then, and it wasn’t.
As we have written many times, while Boeing Commercial Airplanes is understood to want to assembly the 777X in Everett, headquarters in Chicago has a very different view–and in the end, it’s only that view that counts.
One item in the Boeing statement stands out like Braille to us as well:
In addition, a separate agreement committing final assembly of the 737 MAX at the Renton, Wash. site would have been extended through 2024.
For those who think it impossible Boeing wouldn’t start another 737 assembly line elsewhere, we understand from two sources close to Boeing that a study is underway about opening a 737 assembly line in Charleston. Some 737 MAX work has already been assigned there, and Boeing continues to buy land there.
We firmly believe that the industrial logic–and all other logic–demands that the 777X (and the 737 MAX) assembly be in Puget Sound. But Boeing CEO Jim McNerney is clearly intent on moving work away from the unions (and from Washington State) absent dramatic changes in contracts and the cost of doing business.
Boeing offered terms and conditions in the IAM contract that were sure to be rejected.
The PR war of who is responsible will continue for some time to come. But just as we firmly believe the 777X should be built in Washington, we also firmly believe it won’t be without some last minute agreement.
Washington politicians need to step up their effort to look Beyond Boeing for the future of the state’s aerospace industry.