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Boeing deal offers surprises

Dec. 1, 2011 at 5:16 PM   |   Comments

SEATTLE, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Union officials and officials at U.S. planemaker Boeing said a key component of a surprise contract agreement includes a commitment to work together.

Just as the United Auto Workers stressed it was time to ensure auto companies remained competitive -- a concept put into focus by the economic downturn -- Boeing management and officials with the machinist union stressed "a new working relationship," The Seattle Times reported Thursday.

The deal announced Wednesday is the product of highly secret talks that, if ratified next Wednesday, would put a four-year contract in place 10 months early, the newspaper said.

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, who was aware of the talks that began in mid-October, said the deal that would secure thousands of jobs in the Seattle area was "absolutely wonderful."

"At a time when I don't get much good news, this couldn't be better," the governor said.

The deal secures final assembly at the Boeing plant in Renton using parts produced in two other Washington locations, Auburn and Frederickson.

It includes a $5,000 bonus that would be paid upon ratification, which means a surprise pre-Christmas bonus.

Union members are scheduled to vote on the contract Wednesday, Dec. 7.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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