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Renton is Boeing’s choice for Max production | ATWOnline

November 30, 2011

Computer rendering of the 737 Max. Courtesy, Boeing

Boeing plans to build the new 737 Max at its Renton, Wash., facility pending union approval, the company announced Wednesday.

The manufacturer said that if it can secure a new accord with the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the union representing hourly employees in Washington, Oregon and Kansas, and agree on an early contract extension, then it is prepared to locate production of the re-engined Max in Renton.

The announcement comes after weeks of negotiations with the IAM and appears to be a sweetener in return for a new four-year agreement to replace the current contract that is set to expire in September 2012.  

Boeing has reviewed a number of potential sites for Max production since it announced the new, fuel-efficient variant in August. However, given the union troubles the company encountered after announcing a second 787 assembly line in South Carolina in 2009, many observers believed that Reston was the most likely pick for Max production (ATW, Nov. 1).

“If our employees ratify a new agreement, building the 737 Max in Renton will secure a long and prosperous future there, as well as at other sites in the Puget Sound area and in Portland, Ore., where 737 parts are built,” said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Boeing says it has received more than 700 commitments for the Max, which is expected to enter service in 2017.

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