kunc-header-1440x90.png
Our Story Happens Here
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Boeing, Machinists Union Reach Tentative Deal

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Boeing announced a surprise deal with its machinists' union yesterday. It tentatively extends the workers' contract for four years. The company also promises to build a new version of its popular 737 in union-friendly Washington State.

From Seattle, NPR's Martin Kaste reports.

MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: The International Association of Machinists also got pay raises and more pension benefits. Local president Tom Wroblewski calls it a new day.

TOM WROBLEWSKI: The fact is, Boeing is in a hiring mode right now, and our skills, our aerospace skills are in high demand.

KASTE: Boeing had another reason to make nice: It's being sued by the National Labor Relations Board, which accuses the company of setting up a non-union assembly line in South Carolina in an attempt to punish the machinists for a strike in 2008. The NLRB action angered Republicans, especially South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who called it a bastardization of the law.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: This is a frivolous complaint beyond imagination. This is using the law for a political purpose, and I really do resent that.

KASTE: With a tentative new contract in hand, the union is now asking the NLRB to drop its case against Boeing, though both the union and the company insist that their deal does not depend on the NLRB calling off its dogs. Martin Kaste, NPR News, Seattle. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Related Content
  • A new Boeing plant in nonunion South Carolina is the subject of a legal battle that's playing out across the South and in Congress. The aircraft giant says the state offered a lot of incentives to get the plant, but the union says Boeing broke the law and violated workers' rights.
  • The National Labor Relations Board holds a hearing Tuesday, accusing Boeing of opening a plant to build 787s in South Carolina to punish unions that represent Boeing workers in Washington state. Boeing says the NLRB is overstepping its authority.
  • Boeing's Dreamliner — a new kind of more efficient airplane — is three years late and billions over budget. But it will finally make its first commercial flight in September.