Machinists: We’ll try to organize Airbus plant in Mobile

Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers will try to organize Airbus’ factory in Mobile, Ala., when it opens.

IAM President Tom Buffenbarger told The Street that the union has “every intention” of trying to organize Airbus’ new facility.

Last week, Airbus confirmed its plans to open an A320 assembly site in Mobile. Alabama’s right-to-work laws were seen as part of the attraction to Airbus in picking the state.

The local 751 Machinists’ district is the largest union at Boeing in Washington state. The union and Boeing signed a new contract late last year. But the Machinists’ 2008 strike prompted Boeing to put a second 787 final assembly line outside the Puget Sound region and into South Carolina, which has similar right-to-work laws as Alabama.

Alabama is well-represented at the Farnborough International Airshow this week outside London.

The Seattle Times has this report from a reception hosted by U.S. Gulf Coast states on Sunday.

Ray Conner, Boeing’s new president of commercial airplanes, isn’t fazed by Airbus’ U.S. factory, reports Mobile’s The Press-Register.

“I don’t think our customers really care where an airplane is built,” Conner told reporters in London.