ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Following an announcement over the weekend that machinists in Washington state will have a chance to vote on a revised contract offer from Boeing, a former labor leader in St. Louis says that vote shouldn’t hurt Missouri’s bid to land some of the work on the 777X project.
St. Louis Labor Council President Emeritus Bob Kelley predicts a majority of Seattle-area machinists will side with their district leaders and vote “no” on Boeing’s proposal.
“I think that ultimately, if they turn it down, it’s probably a positive for the state of Missouri and the potential for at least a part of that plane being built here,” he said.
Production of the 777X jetliner is expected to create as many as 8,500 jobs. Missouri and Illinois are among 22 states that have submitted proposals to Boeing.
On Friday, the News & Record newspaper in Greensboro, N.C. reported the state’s three potential sites were eliminated from contention.
“I think the process has been good for the various states that compete and ultimately I think Boeing will make a decision that they feel is in their best interest. Hopefully that’s Missouri,” Kelley added.
On December 9, the St. Louis County Council unanimously approved a resolution to support $1.8 billion in tax incentives if Boeing were to come St. Louis for production of its new jetliner. Those tax breaks are in addition to $1.7 billion offered by a special session of the state legislature.
The machinists’ union national headquarters in Washington set a date of January 3 for the Seattle-area contract vote after their local district leaders declined to call for balloting.
Kelley says Boeing may still choose other sites to build some of the plane’s parts if the Seattle-area machinists vote to approve the contract.