Union cheers AMR order, 737 re-engine plans

SEATTLE — Tom Wroblewski, the president of Machinists Union District Lodge 751, issued the following statement in the wake of today’s announcement that American Airlines has ordered 200 Boeing 737s, including 100 with new, more-fuel-efficient engines:

“Today’s announcement is good news for everyone: residents of Washington, the Boeing Co. and its workers, and especially, American Airlines and its customers.

“With the re-engined 737 – assuming Boeing’s board approves the plans — American Airlines will get the best of both worlds. It will get an improved version of the 737 that already was the market leader in its class. And at the same time, it will get a plane that will be built by our industry-leading workers in Renton, who prove to the world every single day that they can be relied on to deliver airplanes on schedule.

“For our Machinists Union members – and for the people of Washington state – the announcement that Boeing will put new engines on the Renton-built 737 gives us a sense that Boeing recognizes the value of its greatest asset, that being its skilled workforce here.

“And for the Boeing Co., the fact that this is one of the largest airplanes orders in company history – 200 firm orders with options for 100 more — speaks for itself.

“I look forward to working with Boeing management here in Puget Sound as they develop plans to transition production to this newest generation 737, and I look forward to the day we can fly one of those gleaming new American Airlines planes. Together, we’ll do all we can to make the re-engined 737 an airplane worthy of its heritage as the best-selling commercial jet of all time.”

Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at Boeing, District 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents 28,000 working men and women at 44 employers across Washington, Oregon and California. In 2010, District 751 members used collective bargaining to reach contracts with 22 of those employers, without a single work day lost to strikes.

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