Reformers vying in re-do of Machinists election December 10, 2013
Boeing announces $101.5B in orders from Gulf November 17, 2013
Boeing: Machinists vote won't affect 777X timeline November 16, 2013
Aerospace blog: Boeing 777X program briefing planned Sunday night November 16, 2013
Retirees grateful for Boeing benefits, split over contract November 15, 2013
Angry Machinists could seek leaders' ouster November 15, 2013
In a Friday interview with the Reuters news service, IAM President R. Thomas Buffenbarger said the company saw that the rival Airbus plane, which is in flight test, was developed "a lot more smoothly than was anticipated. So they see stiffer competition now arriving earlier rather than later."
The A350 program is about two years ahead of the 777X program, which is to be formally announced at the Dubai Airshow, which begins Sunday.
Members of Seattle-based IAM District 751 on Wednesday rejected the contract extension by a 2-to-1 vote margin. Boeing now says it will explore siting final assembly and wing fabrication outside Washington — although Everett is not out of the running. The contract extension would have guaranteed 777X work in Washington.
In the Reuters interview, Buffenbarger concedes the union is now in "a precarious situation" but doesn't intend to approach Boeing to resume talks. The existing contract runs until 2016. "The ball is in their court," he said of the company.
For its part, Boeing has said it doesn't plan to revisit the IAM talks, either.
The secret negotiation of a possible contract extension began in early October, Buffenbarger told Reuters. Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner and Stan Deal, vice president of supply chain management, represented the company. On the union side were Buffenbarger, aerospace coordinator Mark Johnson, recently retired general vice president Richard Michalski and Tom Wroblewski, president of District 751.
Buffenbarger praised Wroblewski "for putting the proposal to a vote because it showed what Boeing needs to offer to extend the contract and avoid the risk of strike when the current labor deal ends." Reuters said.
- Reformers vying in re-do of Machinists election 12/10/13
- Boeing announces $101.5B in orders from Gulf 11/17/13
- Boeing: Machinists vote won't affect 777X timeline 11/16/13
- Aerospace blog: Boeing 777X program briefing planned Sunday night 11/16/13
- Retirees grateful for Boeing benefits, split over contract 11/15/13
- Angry Machinists could seek leaders' ouster 11/15/13