Update: Ray Conner, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, issued a letter to employees today. It is reprinted in full below the jump.
COMAC’s C919: This is China’s entry to compete with Airbus and Boeing in the 150-175 seat market sector. Aviation Week has a long report about the difficulties COMAC will likely have getting certified in the West and suggests that the airplane will largely be confined to flying by Chinese airlines.
IAM-Boeing, continued: In what has become a daily ritual, here is more news about the ongoing IAM-Boeing saga.
Letter from Ray Conner to BCA employees:
Over the course of the last several days, I’ve received hundreds of messages from members of our team with questions and comments about our meetings last week with IAM leaders and the status of the 777X site selection process. The vast majority have been thoughtful and considerate expressions of both concern and hope for the future.
With that experience in mind, I thought it would be helpful to provide the full team a few clarifying comments about the disappointing outcome of last week’s talks and a quick update on the status of the 777X site selection process.
First, as we made clear in the statement we released last week, we agreed to re-engage with union leaders with the hope of reaching agreement on a contract extension that would place 777X final assembly and wing fabrication and assembly in Puget Sound. We responded to a proposal from the union with a best and final counterproposal that meaningfully improved the value delivered to IAM members over our prior offer and clarified points that some said were unclear in that earlier contract proposal. If ratified, our final proposed contract would have reinstated ZOOM, extended LOU-42 on securing 737 MAX production in Renton to 2024, improved dental coverage provisions, added an additional $5,000 lump sum in 2020, and better defined the 777X work that would be won as part of the agreement.
We were sincere in asking for the union leadership’s commitment to support our improved final proposal as a tentative agreement that would be taken to a vote by IAM members with a recommendation for approval. However, that did not happen. The proposal was rejected in short order by IAM-751 leaders. Subsequently, some have asserted that we withdrew our proposal. That’s not the case. We would not back away from an offer we made in good faith to our team. It was a rejection, plain and simple, and we now have to turn and face the reality of the union leadership’s final decision.
Based on last week’s outcome, we have now moved on to the next steps in the down select process for 777X work placement, which will be completed early next year. We received proposals from 22 states covering 54 sites. We are encouraged by the quality and magnitude of the response. Thanks to the diligent efforts of our evaluation team, this week we are narrowing that list down to a handful, from which our final decisions will be made.
Thank you for your patience and perseverance through all the attention this issue is getting in our community and in the media. We will continue to provide updates of our progress in the days and weeks ahead. Strengthening our Commercial Airplanes business for the short and long term will be guiding our decision making.