Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced a special session of the state legislature to approve a multifaceted incentive package that would ensure Boeing Co. will build its new 777 commercial jet in the state.
Over the last several weeks, rumors have swirled in the aerospace industry about where thousands of workers would build the next-generation version of the plane, dubbed 777X, and its massive carbon fiber wing over the next several decades.
The special session beginning Thursday centers around approving a plan that guarantees 777 manufacturing will remain in the Puget Sound region.
“If we can do this in the next seven days, we can be certain that Washington’s aerospace future will be as bright as its past,” he said in a statement. “Everyone in Washington has a stake in what we’re doing here.”
Other rumored destinations for manufacturing the twin-aisle jet were Charleston, S.C., where the Boeing builds the 787, and Long Beach, where it builds the C-17 cargo jet.
Inslee made the special session announcement late Tuesday after Boeing and the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union brokered a tentative labor agreement.
According to the union, that agreement will provide "an unprecedented degree of labor stability in the volatile and competitive industry."
The union represents more than 35,000 Boeing workers. It did not say when the vote on the agreement would occur.
“Only a project as significant as the 777X and the jobs it will bring to this region warrants consideration of the terms contained in Boeing’s proposal,” said Tom Wroblewski, the union’s directing business representative. “Not all will agree with the proposal’s merits, but we believe this is a debate and a decision that ultimately belongs to the members themselves.”
Washington's 777X incentive package contains several proposals, including: transportation improvements, investments in education, streamlined permitting for large manufacturing sites, and an extension of tax incentives to 2040.
More information about the package is available here.
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