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Missouri Labor Leaders Vow 24-hour Work for Boeing

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Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) - In hopes to sweeten the deal, St. Louis area construction labor councils have committed to work around the clock and forgo overtime to help Missouri compete for and win Boeing’s next-generation commercial aircraft, the 777X.

The historic agreement was announced by Gov. Jay Nixon Tuesday.

In a letter to the Governor, the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, the Eastern Missouri Laborers’ District Council, and the Carpenters District Council of Greater St. Louis committed to a 24-hour work schedule without overtime. This aggressive work schedule would double the number of work hours each week, triple the committed workforce, and reduce the construction time by at least a year.

A copy of the letter is available HERE.

St. Louis Union Leaders React

Meanwhile, St. Louis union leaders are headed to the Missouri capitol to testify in favor of efforts to lure Boeing to north St. Louis County where they will build the next generation of commercial jet liners.

Bob Soutier, President of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council AFL-CIO, said its a deal everyone wants to see happen.

“Our message will be that we want to bring jobs to Missouri. If Boeing is considering relocating from Seattle due to the fact that the workers in Seattle turned down the proposal that was made to them, we certainly would like to see them bring that over to Missouri,” Soutier said.

Two other officials scheduled to testify are Jeff Abousie of the St. Louis Building Trades and Mike Lewis of the AFL-CIO.

Soutier said Boeing workers in St. Louis have already changed their pension structure for new hires in line with what the company had sought from Boeing workers in Seattle.

“It’s my understanding it will be comparable wages, language, and benefits to what they currently have,” he said.

New Details On the Proposal

Also on Tuesday Nixon’s office released new details on the proposal being debated in Jefferson City. That deal for Boeing could include more than $1.7 billion of incentives over two decades with the stipulation that the company add thousands of jobs.

If Boeing were to add 2,000 jobs in Missouri for its commercial passenger jet, the company could get an aggregate of up to $435 million of state incentives by 2040. An additional 4,000 jobs could yield nearly $871 million of incentives; 6,000 jobs could result in up to $1.3 billion of incentives; and 8,000 jobs could result in as much as $1.74 billion of state incentives, according to several scenarios analyzed by the governor’s office.

The company already employs about 15,000 people in Missouri

The analysis by Nixon’s administration assumes the employees would be paid an average of $95,000 starting in 2018 with an annual pay raise of 3 percent.

All the scenarios assume that Missouri would reap more in new tax revenues than it would give away in incentives.

Nixon called lawmakers into a special session with the goal of approving a package of incentives for Boeing by Dec. 10.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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