The Boeing Co. considered several other locations before it announced this week that it will build its new generation 737 MAX at its Renton, Wash., facilities where skilled members of the SPEEA/International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 2001 and Machinists (IAM) District 751 have produced high quality aircraft for decades.
An independent study sponsored by the unions along with government and business groups helped convince Boeing that Renton was the best place to build the new generation 737.
The study, known as Project Pegasus, showed that Renton with the large pool of highly skilled workers was the best option with the lowest risk for the airline manufacturer, says SPEEA President Tom McCarty.
This was a very proactive effort to make sure these planes are designed and built by the most experienced and productive workforce in the world. [The decision] means secure jobs continuing far into the future.
SPEEA is preparing to begin contract negotiations with Boeing that should be underway soon. The IAM has reached a tentative agreement.
The 737 MAX project isn’t the first time SPPEA and the IAM have joined with Washington State’s aviation community to promote its aerospace workforce and bring jobs to the state. Earlier this year, they went to the world famous Paris Air Show which draws thousands of aviation and aerospace companies looking for new products and technology and, in many cases, new manufacturing locations. One of the group’s tools was a video produced by the Washington State Labor Council that showcased Boeing’s union workers.
In the video, SPEEA member Michael Hochberg says that if he was “an aerospace company and wanted to find”
a large pool of talented people to help me make airplanes or make other aerospace products, I would think the Puget Sound is a great place because we have literally generations of people who have worked in airplanes, kids who have grown up with aerospace…it’s just an amazing place to do business for an aerospace company.