Update, 11:30 AM PDT: The Boeing Board of Directors is to make the decision on siting Line 2 today or tomorrow–we have somewhat conflicting information. We’re trying for some clarification.
A flurry of activity erupted last night that reported talks between the IAM and Boeing broke down again, this time for the last time, and it appears Boeing will announce as early as today that Line 2 for the 787 assembly will be in Charleston (SC):
It’s Monday, October 26, and the final countdown to a decision on where to put Boeing’s 787 Line 2 assembly site may come as early as this week. We understand the Boeing Board of Directors meets today or tomorrow; Boeing’s permit applications in Charleston (SC) to expand the facility there has a November 2 start date. Boeing management and the International Association of Machinists, at loggerheads for years, struggle to find an agreement that will tip the decision to Everett (WA).
We don’t need to recount the high drama of the last week, nor issues that we’ve already discussed.
Instead, we’re going to touch on some issues we’ve not covered, or at least recently, as well as some new things that have come up since last week.
With an historic opportunity to engage in a radical shift of labor relations with The Boeing Co., the International Association of Machinists may well make an historical decision that will “blow it.”
As anyone in aviation who is interested in commercial aviation knows, from the plethora of news reporting in just the last 24 hours, the IAM national union and Boeing have been engaged in secret talks (yes, they have been secret, despite a denial to the contrary) to attempt to achieve an unprecedented 10-year contract with a no-strike clause. As Dominic Gates of The Seattle Times reported yesterday, these have deadlocked.
Dominic Gates of The Seattle Times has this story about the prospect of the IAM agreeing to a no-strike clause for Boeing.
The national head of the IAM is quoted as saying no way, no how. Although this is dismissed by an unidentified source as aggressive posturing by the national president, whether it is or isn’t, here’s an angle not covered in the story.
Scott Fancher, the head of the Boeing 787 program, told the Charleston (SC) Business Journal that blaming labor for Boeing’s consideration of siting a second 787 production line is over-simplifying the issue.
The business paper wrote: