Members of the Machinists union did the right thing Friday by voting to approve a contract extension offered by Boeing. The 51 percent “yes” vote means the 777X jetliner will be built in Everett, securing high-paying jobs throughout the region.
We know this was a difficult vote for union members. The company’s contract extension came with a number of takeaways, including changes to the workers’ pension benefits. As difficult as that was to accept, it reflects changes going on in businesses throughout the country.
To soften the blow, Boeing workers will get a $10,000 bonus immediately.
While the contract vote was up to Boeing workers, thousands of other workers throughout the region had a stake in the outcome, too. Many companies provide parts and services for Boeing planes. Those jobs also were on the line
The same can be said of the region as a whole, which benefits from the pay Boeing workers take home – and spend on everything from groceries to new cars,
The vote also means Boeing no longer is wooing other cities and states for the 777X work. As Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner rightly noted, “Thanks to this vote by our employees, the future of Boeing in the Puget Sound region has never looked brighter.”
That is evident from the next step Boeing will take for production of the 777X – investing up to $4 billion to construct a 1.1 million-square-foot facility in the state to build the airplane’s wings. That also means 3,000 jobs at peak production in 2024.
Those jobs – and that future – will remain here, thanks to the vote by Machinists union members.
– Craig Groshart, Bellevue Reporter