Machinists reject second Boeing labor contract offer

NEW YORK Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:01am EST

The Boeing logo is seen at their headquarters in Chicago, April 24, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

The Boeing logo is seen at their headquarters in Chicago, April 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Machinist union leaders on Thursday rejected a second offer from Boeing Co (BA.N) covering production of its new 777X jetliner, which the firm wants to build in Washington state.

Boeing, which manufacturers the current 777 in Washington, made an initial offer last month - which the union turned down - to locate production of the successor plane in the same state.

The follow-up deal rejected on Thursday offered an increased signing bonus for all machinists, dropped plans to reduce the pace of wage increases for new workers, and offered concessions on dental benefits, Boeing said.

The union, which had also sought improved health care and pension provisions, rejected the new proposal. But its leaders on Thursday differed on whether the contract remained in play.

Bryan Corliss, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists District 751, said Boeing took the contract off the table after union leaders refused to recommend it to members.

It was not a "significant improvement" over the contract members strongly rejected last month, Corliss said.

But Rich Michalski, from the union's national leadership, told the Seattle Times newspaper his members should get to vote on the new offer.

After the union turned down the first contract, Boeing received proposals from 22 states interested in hosting production of the 777X, the company said on Thursday.

The new offer "rests with the union leadership at this point," Boeing spokesman Doug Alder said in an email late on Thursday. He declined to say if the offer was contingent on the union leadership's endorsement.

(Reporting by Alwyn Scott in New York and Jonathan Kaminsky in Olympia, Wash.; Editing by Eric M. Johnson, John Stonestreet)

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