Today’s the big day for Boeing, IAM, WA State and rivals

Today is Wednesday, Nov. 13, and it is the big day for Boeing, IAM, Washington State and rival states wanting to build the Boeing 777X.

IAM 751, the local union that provides the “touch labor” to assemble all the 7 Series commercial jetliners except those assigned to Boeing’s South Carolina plant, has a hard choice: accept deep givebacks in its pension plan, health care benefits and wages in exchange for the 777X work, or roll the dice, reject the Boeing contract proposal and challenge Boeing’s statement that it will put the 777X assembly out to bid.

WA Policy Nov 13 2013Rival states are salivating. The Seattle Times reports that internally, Boeing’s facilities in Long Beach (CA), Huntsville (AL) and Salt Lake City (UT) are the top possibilities outside Washington. Interestingly, Charleston (SC) is not on The Times lists because the Boeing plant there still doesn’t have the 787 assembly under control yet. It had been widely assumed Charleston would be the first choice outside Washington.

Neither is Boeing’s San Antonio (TX) facility on The Times list.

Political officials in South Carolina and Texas have already expressed interest in bidding on the 777X. We’re told Utah has already submitted a proposal, but this is unconfirmed.

Long Beach is a major Boeing facility that was part of McDonnell Douglas prior to the merger of the two companies. All DC and MD commercial jets were built there, and the last remaining vestige of McDonnell Douglas, the C-17 military cargo transport, is slated to end production in 2015. But California is a heavily unionized state and the business climate there is widely considered poor. The other states are right-to-work states.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry reportedly Tweeted he hopes the IAM rejects Boeing’s contract offer and invited Boeing to Texas.

The IAM votes until 6pm. IAM 751 officials have historically been open and transparent during the counting process, allowing media to observe. IAM International, which has muscled out the 751 officials and which is overseeing counting, has decided to bar the media during counting except for a five minute photo op.

14 Comments on “Today’s the big day for Boeing, IAM, WA State and rivals

  1. Putting myself in the shoes of an IAM member I can clearly see a “No” vote would have bad consequences. Boeing also needs some certainty when it makes its major investment decisions.

    But I also think that Boeing is showing a lack of respect in the way it treats its employees that will come back and bite it. There are issues that need working through. “Sign, or else!” doesn’t seem like a reasonable way to behave.

  2. C dye- why not wichita ? BA sold off almost all of its facilities there a few years ago

    The overriding- control- presence of IAM international is unusual and frankly makes me and others suspicious – MY guess is that IF the vote is close- how to force a recount is not obvious. While for normal union elections, the feds DOL-OLMS would be involved. But for contract extensions/contracts voted on under these condidtions, its not obvious even if NLRB could get involved.

    The rush to judgement stage managed by Boeing supposedly for the Duabi show is more than suspect.

    The use of unrealistic ‘ analysis” numbers by Boeing is not unusual- but in this case- combined with newspapeer ads, incomplete ‘ terms’, etc sure leaves me wondering..

    • Mr. Shuper, I am not sure what the sale of Boeing assets to Spirit has to do with moving to Wichita. The Boeing footprint in Wichita is still quite large. They were initially going to finish the tanker there. Also the current plan calls for Boeing to built a new ~1.3 msf plant to house the 777x assembly. That could be built as easy and cheaper in Wichita as in the Seattle area.
      As for the ” rush to judgement stage managed by Boeing”, someone in an earlier posting mentioned that a preliminary design and manufacturing plan with plant location was necessary in order to offer the 777x at Abu Duabi air show. I would say the already committed purchases plus the firm interest in buying the 777x is the driver to getting this done, besides the Boeing offer was coordinated (negotiated) by the IAM national office in order to offer the plane for purchase at Abu Duabi.

      • …besides the Boeing offer was coordinated (negotiated) by the IAM national office in order to offer the plane for purchase at Abu Duabi…..

        CREDIBLE source for that comment ??

  3. They will vote “Yes” and move on. Comapnies used to care about their employees and the US was not in the throws of being a third world nation. Workers had the opportunity to take vacations and enjoy time away from work. Now we all work to support the low cost high outlut requirements for Wall Street’s hedge fund managers, who how does it go again? Make more money than God needs or wants.

    • Am I mistaken, or are you the same commenter who on the last thread was singing the praises of the U.S. South’s anti union competitiveness?

      I just don’t see how the lamentation of the erosion of employee quality of life can possibly jibe with that recent exaltation of the eradication of employee power by means of the crippling of unions in the American South. The rise of the south and RTW states is inextricably tied to the very debasement of working people in this country that you seem here to decry.

      Corporations never gave working people vacations and the ability to enjoy time away from work because they cared about the people who worked for them (or any people at all, for that matter). Corporations were forced to offer humanity to the humans who labored for them by unions and the threat of unions. It was unions alone that gave employees protections, rights, and a voice in government.

      When the voters of RTW states decided to go along with the crippling of unions in this country to try to win business that they were not able to develop through their own industry, knowledge, and innovation, they took that force away, and corporations have reverted to their natural uncaring, profit seeking manner of handling employee relations.

      Right to work legislation – its merits or shortcomings notwithstanding has never been about giving workers the right to choose whether they wanted to be part of unions, it has always simply been the easiest populist lever to push to divide the mostly working electorate in this country, and destroy unionism and the employee rights that come with it.

      • Where do all these union hucks keep crawling out from. After destroying the automibile industry, after destroying cities like Detroit, and supporting every communist/socialist talking point over the last 75 years, these unions and their parasitic hucksters should be run out of town.


      • I, for one, have been here for years posting and defending my opinion, but also reading and adjusting my thoughts based on what other people bring to the conversation.

        Presuming it is not Stratford-upon-Avon, from whence did you pop your head?

  4. BA is 78% institutionally owned. It’s working to return value to the teachers/municipal retirement funds and index funds etc. that are the (share) owners. It’s in the end not hard to believe those owners don’t want to abdicate this short term profit in favor of the workers union in Washington. If they did, then the long term (as yet unrealized) profits would go to Asia/Europe.

  5. Frankly I think Boeing has backed itself into a corner.

    If they don’t have a viable production site for the 777X, then those orders will all be conditional or options that can be canceled.

    I think it puts the union in the drivers seat for a change. Reject it and then talk go us, not dictate

    Not to mention what it does to future orders when the current contract expires. Buy reliable Airbus or flaky Boeings Chicago Mafia?

    And we See that Charleston is not up to speed and not till 2015, so why do would anyone think any new site would be? And indications that Charleston may go union as well.

    Long Beach is the only possible one with the skills, but CA high very high cost of doing business unless its a government contracted? And whats to stop them being organized.

    Of course they can build it overseas (right). Maybe Africa, I hear t hats the new in place with cheapest labor.

    Foolish for Boeing to wait till the last minute. I would reject it (and I am as unenthusiastic union as you can get short of anti union)

    So, they build it someplace else and whats the downside? Whats the point of having a union that gets no benefits?

  6. Pingback: IAM 751 Local rejects Boeing contract, say many members; still awaiting word | Leeham News and Comment

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