published Saturday, January 4th, 2014

Boeing machinists OK contract tied to 777X

Boeing machinists walk past statues commemorating striking workers as they prepare to vote at their union hall Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Everett, Wash.
Boeing machinists walk past statues commemorating striking workers as they prepare to vote at their union hall Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Everett, Wash.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

SEATTLE — Boeing machinists have approved a contract that would concede some pension and health care benefits in order to secure assembly of the company's new 777X airplane in the Puget Sound region.

The offer fractured the union and drew unusual pleas from local politicians who said the deal is necessary to support the region's economic future. Boeing had been exploring the prospect of building the 777X elsewhere, a move that could've triggered a steady exodus of aerospace jobs from a region where Boeing was founded.

Local union officials urged their 30,000 members to oppose the deal, arguing that the proposal surrenders too much at a time when the company is profitable.

After machinists rejected an initial proposal in November, Boeing received submissions for 54 locations in 22 states that wanted the 777X work.

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