Like The Herald Business Journal on Facebook!
The Herald of Everett, Washington
Heraldnet.com

The top local business stories in your email

Contact Us:

Josh O'Connor
Publisher
Phone: 425-339-3007
joconnor@heraldnet.com

Jody Knoblich
General Sales Manager
Phone: 425-339-3445
Fax: 425-339-3049
jknoblich@heraldnet.com

Jim Davis
Editor
Phone: 425-339-3097
jdavis@heraldnet.com

Site address:
1800 41st Street, S-300,
Everett, WA 98203

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 930
Everett, WA 98206

HBJ RSS feeds

IAM president: Heat from Airbus behind Boeing offer

In Reuters interview, Buffenbarger tells the backstory of the Machinists vote

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
Herald staff
Published:
The president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) says that catching up with the Airbus A350-1000 drove Boeing's board of directors to seek a swift contract extension with the union to ensure the new, comparable 777X could be produced at a fast rate to satisfy customer demand.
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.

MORE HBJ HEADLINES

CALENDAR

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

Market roundup