By Windsor Genova

Renton, WA

One-third of the 28,000-strong Boeing workers in Washington, Oregon and Kansas voted Wednesday to accept a four-year extension of their job contract to build 737 MAX planes.

Tom Wroblewski, Local 751 district president of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM), praised the approval.

"As a result of this vote, we have the strongest commitment to the future of aerospace jobs in Washington state that we've ever had. We've also preserved retiree medical and pensions for new hires. Those are things that very few working people in America have today," he said in a message posted on

The extension of the contract expiring in September 2012 was welcomed by the aircraft maker.

"This contract will help secure a better future for our employees, our customers, our communities and our company," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, in the company's website. "It's a balanced agreement that makes us more competitive and ensures that the 737 - the best single-aisle airplane in the world - continues to be built by the people who know how to do it best."

Boeing announced last week that the company would produce the 737 MAX in the existing Renton facility if IAM members ratified the tentative agreement.

According to Boeing, the new contract provides for annual wage and pension increases; a one-time ratification bonus of $5,000 to be paid on Dec. 15; productivity, quality and safety incentives; a new health care plan; and a joint panel to discuss labor-management issues.

Washington state also stands to gain from the extended contract as it will keep 8,000 direct jobs and 12,000 indirect jobs not to mention $500 million in annual tax payment from Boeing.


Investing - Boeing Machinists Accept 4 Year Contract Extension | Boeing

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