December 12, 2013 / 4:10 AM / in 4 years

Boeing machinists make prelim offer to get 777X work for Washington

Dec 11 (Reuters) - Boeing’s Seattle-area machinists union made a preliminary proposal for a contract that would allow the new 777X jetliner to be built in Washington state, where the current 777 is built.

The union did not disclose any of the terms of its Wednesday offer, which seeks to secure 777X wing fabrication and final assembly work. ()

Boeing said it has no comment.

Last month, the machinists soundly rejected an eight-year labor contract extension that would have let them build Boeing’s newest jetliner in Washington, a decision that could forever alter the course of Boeing’s 97-year presence in the state.

The union expects Boeing to respond to the offer on Thursday, said Tom Wroblewski, president of Machinists Union District Lodge 751.

The offer was made on the second day of meetings between senior union representatives and executives of Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes Group.

Wroblewski described the tone of Wednesday’s talks as “respectful and constructive,” but said the two sides are not close to an agreement.

“As we’ve said from the beginning of the 777X site selection process, we continue to look at all of our options,” Boeing spokesman Doug Alder said earlier on Wednesday.

Washington’s full congressional delegation pleaded with Boeing on Tuesday to keep the next-generation jetliner in the state as rival states made their own pitches to lure the 777X in a contest worth billions of dollars.

The appeal came as Missouri, Georgia, Alabama, California, Kansas and Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina, offered varying mixtures of tax credits, monetary grants, free land, infrastructure spending and other incentives to win the factory.

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