Boeing’s 777X under scrutiny; SPEEA’s victory in California

The Boeing Co. could wait another year before deciding whether to go ahead with an updated version of the 777.

Reuters reports that the launch of the 777X, as the revamped version of the jet is dubbed, is at least a year away. That’s a longer wait than what several key 777 customers, including Emirates Airlines and British Airways, had been expecting.

But when the 777X finally is launched, the jet could have folded wingtips, an unnamed source told the Seattle Times.

Key to any design efforts will be Boeing’s engineers and technical workers, who are represented by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace here in the Puget Sound region.

The union and Boeing still are negotiating a labor contract after SPEEA members voted down the company’s offer Oct. 1. Talks are progressing at a slow pace, based on updates from Boeing and SPEEA.

The union celebrated a victory over Boeing in California yesterday. An arbitrator allowed SPEEA to reestablish representation of Boeing workers in Palmdale and at Edwards Air Force Base. The company had denied that those workers were part of a SPEEA bargaining unit and therefore had paid workers at a lower rate than the union had negotiated. The arbitrator ruled that Boeing must provide backpay to the California workers going back to March 2001.