Jan. 3 - The stakes are sky high -- Boeing could move work on the new 777X plane outside of Washington state if machinists reject its latest contract offer. Fred Katayama reports.
The stakes are as high as the sky for Boeing workers and Washington state. 31,000 machinists vote again Friday on a key labor contract. If the workers vote yes, Boeing will build its successor to the 777 jet in the Seattle area. If they reject it, the aerospace giant says it will make the wings and possibly the whole plane in another state. That would be a big blow to Washington since Boeing is the state's largest private employer, and the 777X means thousands of jobs. Twenty two states have put in bids for the work. At issue: pensions. Boeing's latest proposal offers every worker a bigger signing bonus but still kills the pension. Younger workers are open to it; older workers oppose it. The union's split, too. The local union rejected Boeing's first proposal that its national leadership had negotiated. Stifel analyst Stephen Levenson says, if workers reject the contract, "we would expect work to go to another location, potentially including right-to-work states." The final tally is expected around midnight Eastern time. .