Union frustration could hurt Boeing 777X deal

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OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee stepped out of his office Friday morning to declare, “We are moving forward in the state on aerospace.”

photoThe governor said lawmakers are also moving quickly on $9 billion tax break for Boeing.  Inslee called a special session of the Legislature, which began Thursday.  On Friday morning, a state House committee passed and sent to the House floor a measure to help ensure Boeing builds its new 777X in Washington.

“My job is to make sure that these bills really work well and I think we’ve got it in really good shape,” said state Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Bellevue, chairman of the House Finance Committee.

But the deal won’t mean anything if the Machinists union can’t agree on a new contract proposal that Boeing says is essential to keep the work in Everett. One union leader apparently tore up the offer during a union meeting Thursday night.

Two union members Q13 FOX News spoke with off-camera called it a bad deal that has big cuts in health care benefits and pensions.

Boeing responded in a letter, saying if the union won’t approve the deal, “We will be left with no choice but to open up the process competitively and pursue other options for locating 777X work.”

“We are at risk if we do not move forward, on multiple tracks, to assure these jobs,” said Inslee.

Boeing’s proposal is scheduled for a vote next Wednesday by 31,000 Puget Sound area members of the International Association of Machinists. Boeing said approval of the contract will ensure the 777X is built in Everett, and its big composite wing is fabricated in the state as well.

 The governor said he’s not surprised the union is angry, but if a deal doesn’t get done, there are plenty of other states in line to grab the lucrative 777X job.

“People all around the world are envious and want to poach these jobs from the state of Washington,” said Inslee. “There are 49 governors that will be calling Boeing if, in fact, this deal doesn’t go through this week.”

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  • jeff

    What really gets under my crawl is why are tax incentives good enough for Boeing and Microsoft and tax breaks are not good enough for me and you? This governor is proposing tax breaks for Boeing at the same time he wants to raise the gas tax for a transportation bill. This is pure crap!

    • Slam1263

      Why is Boeing worth $9billion in tax breaks?

      Their profits are no where near high enough to pay that much in taxes.

      This amount is nearly equal to $1500 for every man, woman, and child living in this state.

      As much as I love businesses, this is unfair to each and every business in this state.

      Plus, Microsoft and Boeing SUPPORT amnesty for criminal aliens, in a further effort to depress wages in this state.

  • Suzanne

    1) The fact that the governor wants to raise the gas taxes should be an outrage to anyone living in this state that has seen the gas so high its hard for some hardworking families to afford.

    2) Why is the governor getting involved in Boeings business to pressure the machinsts to accept a horrendous contract? Or for them to offer tax incentives to them NOW? Your timing is terrible!

    I grew up in this state, and am ashamed of the govenment in it. They have truly misused their budgets to the point of it being ridiculous. Jay Inslee should be ashamed of himself!

  • A Boeing Machinst

    This contract (if voted on) will pass, but not because the machinists want it. What most people do not know is that, if there isn't at least a 67 percent "NO" vote on this contract, it goes into effect by default. It happened to us in the past. This is what the Boeing Company is counting on to win this thing.

  • Skip

    More corporate extortion from Boeing and it's been going on for years. If they can get tax breaks worth billions, the average WA citizen will have to make-up the difference to support the state budget.

    Journalists should do an in-depth look at the Boeing company and show how much money they make and how much Boeing actually benefits our state. How much tax do they pay now?

    • Slam1263

      Or why Group Health rebates more than Boeing has paid in insurance premiums.

      That is the reason I dropped Group Health 12 years ago.

      Boeing gets a sweetheart deal, but my business, which never had a claim for injury, or workplace sickness in 20 years, didn't

  • Marchofthesod

    This is more of a vote for the people who will be working for Boeing in the future.

    Hope it's still a decent gig by Thursday.

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