TOKYO Nov 12 Boeing Co is hopeful its
key machinist union will vote for a labour contract to secure
production of the 777X in Washington State, but will look at
alternatives, including building the wings in Japan if the deal
is rejected, an executive said on Tuesday
"We are hopeful," John Tracy, the U.S. aircraft maker's
chief technology officer, said during a press briefing in Tokyo
with executives from suppliers including Mitsubishi Heavy
, Kawasaki Heavy and Fuji Heavy.
Japanese companies build 36 percent of the 787 Dreamliner
including the wings.
"If not ratified we will consider all other alternatives,"
Tracy said, adding that included the possibility of taking
production of the wings out of the United States to Japan.
In a bid to persuade Boeing to build its yet-to-be-launched
777X in Washington, the state legislature last week passed a
measure to extend nearly $9 billion in tax breaks. However, key
to the production decision will be a vote by the International
Association of Machinists union on a deal that calls for lower
healthcare benefits and a new retirement plan.
Its 31,000 members are due to vote on the proposed deal on
Wednesday. At a meeting last week, union head Tom Wroblewski
tore up the proposed contract.
Should his members agree to throw the deal out, Mitsubishi
Heavy and other Japanese suppliers could stand to benefit. The
carbon fiber 787 is the first Boeing aircraft that has its wings
built outside the United States.
Doing so for the 777 would represent another major Boeing
commitment in Japan and help secure thousands of aerospace jobs
as the Japanese firms look to fend of competition from makers in
Korea and China.