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Boeing winnowing list of suitors for 777X site

Keywords: Tags  Boeing, Tom Wroblewski, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, IAM, 777X, aerospace, labor agreement, Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — Boeing Co. said it is advancing its effort to pick a site for production of the new version of its 777 airliner amid a breakdown in talks with union officials to keep the program in Washington state.

The Chicago-based aerospace giant has "moved on" after the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) rejected the last contract offer, Ray Conner, president and chief executive officer of the company’s Boeing Commercial Airplanes unit, said in a statement.

Boeing is narrowing proposals from 22 states "down to a handful, from which our final decision will be made," he said. The selection process, which covers 54 sites, "will be completed early next year."

While Conner didn’t disclose the states or the sites, they are widely reported to include Alabama, California, Missouri, South Carolina and Utah.

Boeing and the IAM failed to resolve differences over a proposed contract that would have assured that final assembly of the 777X and its new composite wing would take place in the Puget Sound area.

A second round of negotiations aimed at reaching a new labor agreement through 2024 broke down last week (, Dec. 13). While Conner said assertions from the union that Boeing withdrew its proposal were wrong, Tom Wroblewski, president of IAM District 751, said in a message to members that union negotiators were told "there is no offer" unless they recommended Boeing’s contract proposal.

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