Boeing Machinists union rejects latest contract offer

Boeing Machinists union rejects latest contract offer

SEATTLE (AP) - A Boeing spokesman says the company has presented a "best and final counterproposal" to the Machinists union but union leaders rejected the offer to keep much of the work on Boeing's new 777X jet in the Puget Sound region.
   
A union spokesman did not immediately return calls for comment.
   
Last month, the Machinists rejected a proposed eight-year contract for the 777X work, in part because it would have replaced workers' traditional pension with a defined-contribution savings plan.
   
The union and the company have held three days of talks over the issue.
   
Boeing's Doug Alder says the revised contract extension proposal presented Thursday included previously proposed "changes to the way members earn future retirement benefits," meaning a defined-contribution plan.
   
The proposal would have kept in place the current rate at which employees accelerate to the top of the pay scale.
   
Boeing says it has received proposals from 22 states seeking the 777X jobs. In its own bid to win the jobs, Washington state recently approved tax breaks for Boeing valued at $9 billion over the coming years, along with legislation to improve aerospace training programs and the permitting process.

A spokesman for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says the governor continues to talk with both Boeing officials and Machinists union leaders, stressing the importance of building the new jet in the Puget Sound region.
   
Inslee spokesman David Postman called Thursday's breakdown in negotiations "a setback, no doubt" but said the governor planned talks with both sides Thursday night.
   
In a statement, Inslee says he still hopes that Boeing "will recognize that the best way to ensure that the 777X is delivered to its customers on time and at the least cost is to build it here."
   
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