November 6, 2013
By Neal Tepel
Reuters and The Seattle Times are reporting that the Boeing Co. and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) are in talks about building the new 777X airplane. Its expected that negotiations with IAM include a contract extension several years beyond 2016 when the present contract expires.
It had been reported that Ray Conner, head of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, is leading the management side of the negotiations and IAM President Tom Buffenbarger is directly involved. With competition from the new Airbus A350-1000, Boeing will need to keep costs on its new 777 as low as possible.
Washington state leaders have created a bipartisan 777X Legislative Task Force in an effort to find ways to keep Boeing 777 production totally in Washington state. Washington state continues to work on tax cuts and other incentives to win 777X work. However, rumors continue that some aspect of the project will move to South Carolina.
Ongoing production location discussions are being conducted between Boeing and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents workers at Boeing's Washington state factories. However its expected that final assembly of the 777X would be at Boeing's Everett plant near Seattle.
The 777X is designed to carry up to 406 people on some of the world's longest routes and will enter service in 2020.