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Boeing Machinists: Union Workers Turn Down Deal For Constructing 777x Jet

Nov 14, 2013 02:03 PM EST | By Justin Stock
Boeing, International Association of Machinists
Boeing 777x Aircraft
Boeing will make and connect the wings for its 777x aircraft in Everett, Wash.(Photo : Creative Commons )

The creation of Boeing's 777x aircraft has been altered yet again, this time by engineers turning down an eight-year labor contract extension so the jet could be constructed in Washington Reuters reported Thursday.

"We are very disappointed in the outcome of the union vote," Ray Conner, chief executive at Boeing Commercial Airplanes said in a statement Reuters reported. "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."

The International Association of Machinists did not agree to the terms of the deal, which would have made their healthcare more expensive, eliminated their pension, and give Boeing a 20 year timeframe to construct the transporter. The company is now expected to make the aircraft in other states throughout the United States, along with Japan who has extended an invitation.

"(Members) preserved something sacred by rejecting the Boeing proposal," Tom Wroblewski, president of International Association of Machinists District 751 said in a statement Reuters reported. "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. If they're going to make those business decisions and take the company down the road to corporate suicide, that's entirely their business."

Washington governor Jay Inslee secured $8.7 billion in funding from taxes for Boeing and the rest of the fighter jet business.

"This does not diminish the strengths we do bring to the table," Inslee said in a statement Reuters reported. "Tremendous workforce, tremendous incentive package, good permitting, a way to move forward on transportation. We bring those strengths to the table and we've got to continue to maximize those."

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