Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 751 in Puget Sound, District W-24 in Portland, OR and District 70 in Wichita, KS voted by 51 to 49 percent to accept an eight-year contract extension that includes a two-part $15,000 signing bonus and assures the 777X will be built in Puget Sound by IAM members.
“The impact of this agreement extends far beyond IAM members who voted today,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “For decades to come, the entire region will benefit from the economic activity and technological innovations that will accompany the production of the 777X and 737 MAX.”
In addition to securing manufacture of the 777X fuselage and carbon-fiber wings for the Puget Sound, the agreement reaffirms Boeing’s commitment to maintain 737 MAX production in Renton, WA through 2024. Analysts estimate the two programs could account for as many as 20,000 direct and indirect jobs and billions in economic activity.
“The 777X is not just Boeing’s newest wide-body aircraft,” said Buffenbarger. “In materials, technology and manufacturing skills required, the 777X represents a quantum leap in aviation history. IAM members have built Boeing aircraft in Puget Sound for more than 60 years. This agreement assures they’ll continue building them for decades to come.”
The proposal by Boeing also includes changes to IAM members’ defined benefit pension plan. While the plan will continue to pay full benefits to all members vested in the plan, Boeing will cease making contributions and members will instead be covered by a company-funded 401(k) plan and a separate savings plan that includes matching company contributions.
“After weeks of robust debate, IAM members at Boeing made decisions they felt were in the best interest of their careers,” said Buffenbarger. “Despite individual differences, I believe this vote preserves thousands of good-paying IAM jobs, while assuring the success of the 777X program.”
The IAM is one of the largest industrial trade unions in North America, representing nearly 700,000 active and retired members in dozens of industries. For more information and a video message from International President Buffenbarger, go to www.iamcontract.org.