By MIKE BAKER
2013-12-31 06:01 AM
SEATTLE (AP) -- Boeing Co. told political leaders on Monday that this week's vote by Machinists will determine the fate of some jobs on the new 777X airplane.
In a press conference, local politicians gathered in Everett to discuss the importance of approving the revised contract offer. Boeing executive Ray Conner told the government leaders earlier in the day that an accepted contract will ensure that the wing work stays in the Puget Sound near Seattle, but a vote to reject the deal will ensure the jobs go elsewhere.
Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke says there is no other choice but to vote yes. Otherwise, the politicians warned of a decline in the state's aerospace industry.
"We will see the demise of the economic stimulus that Boeing has provided us," Cooke said.
Local union leaders have opposed the contract because they believe it involves too many concessions, including a plan to shift workers away from traditional pensions. National leaders in International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers have scheduled a vote despite the objections of local officials.
Since the Machinists rejected a contract offer last month, the company has solicited bids from other states. A total of 22 states have submitted offers to secure work on the 777X.
Boeing's warning on Monday focused on the composite wing needed for the 777X. John Lovick, a local executive, said Boeing plans to build a 1.2 million square foot (0.11 million sq. meter) building in order to construct the wing in the Puget Sound if the Machinists approve the latest offer.
The political leaders said the company's warnings didn't address where the fuselage would be built if Machinists reject the offer.
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