Boeing and Union Machinists Finally Agree on a Contract

Boeing Factory

The long, bitter contract dispute between Boeing (NYSE:BA) and union machinists in Washington State finally came to a close on Friday as union members narrowly approved a labor contract that will keep the construction of Boeing’s new 777X in the Seattle area, Reuters reports.

According to Reuters, the mood among Washington state machinists was somber — especially among local leadership who had pushed back against Boeing’s offer in recent weeks over Boeing’s plans to take away pensions. The deal certainly isn’t being celebrated by the majority of union machinists, who in recent weeks have been positioned between a rock and a hard place as Boeing aggressively postured that it would take its work elsewhere even if that meant taking a loss.

“They held a gun to our head and our people were afraid,” said Lester Mullen, a District 751 council delegate. And Jim Bearden, an administrative assistant to machinist District 751 President Tom Wroblewski, explained, “This decision means Boeing hopefully will stop pursuit of another site for its 777X program.”