Jan. 4 - Boeing Co machinists approve a labor agreement by a narrow margin, ensuring the company's latest jetliner is built in Washington state where Boeing has built aircraft for nearly a century. Jillian Kitchener reports.
With a narrow vote of 51 percent, Boeing machinists approved a labor contract on Friday to build the new 777X jetliner and its wings in the Seattle area. The deal secures thousands of jobs in the state of Washington where Boeing has built planes for nearly a century. Washington Governor Jay Inslee: (SOUNDBITE) (English) JAY INSLEE, WASHINGTON STATE GOVERNOR, SAYING: "Tonight Washington state secured its future as the aerospace capital of the world. Tonight Boeing announced that the carbon fiber wing assembly and the fuselage assembly work will be done in the state of Washington." The deal brings billions of dollars of economic activity for Washington state but will cost workers their pensions. Prior to the vote, machinists voiced their concerns: (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED MACHINIST, SAYING: "It's a big decision, so... A lot of people are looking at us and I'm gong to vote 'no'." (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED MACHINIST, SAYING: "Mostly I feel pressure for the community, I guess. I'm voting 'yes'." Had the workers rejected the offer, Boeing would have considered making the widebody jet somewhere else. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED WORKER, SAYING: "If they don't get what they want, they're going to take the airplanes away from us." Boeing secured the location favored by analysts and investors, who saw far lower risk in using the same factory and workers who now build the predecessor of the 777X.