Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Boeing Seeks Union Bargain With Threat to Fly 777X South

A Boeing 777 at the company's production facility in Everett, Wash.
A Boeing 777 at the company's production facility in Everett, Wash.Photograph by Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Boeing is using the threat of taking 777X production outside the State of Washington to help extract a longer-term contract from its machinists union, as well as incentives from the state. The contract, set to expire in 2016, could last a decade—if extended—and represents part of Boeing’s effort to keep costs of the 777X tightly curbed to help compete with a rival model from Airbus.

If the contract talks fail, Boeing could build the next-generation of its popular 777 jumbo jet at its plant in North Charleston, S.C., where workers are not unionized and wages are lower than what Boeing pays in the Northwest. Boeing plans to announce the new jet at the Dubai Air Show, which starts on Nov. 17, and the talks have “intensified recently,” Frank Larkin, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, told Bloomberg News.