The European Aeronautics and Defence group (EADS) announced it will not dispute the Pentagon’s choice of Boeing as winner of the competition to build a new fleet of air-to-air refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force. The news concludes a nearly 10-year battle for the contract, which could support more than 40,000 U.S. jobs and is worth as much as $100 billion to Boeing and its suppliers.
In his announcement that EADS would not protest the award, EADS Chairman Ralph D. Crosby Jr., acknowledged that Boeing’s $20.6 billion bid was significantly less than the $22.6 billion offer submitted by EADS, which had proposed building a tanker modeled around the Airbus A330. The Air Force evaluation, acknowledged Crosby, was “handled exactly by the rules.”
IAM leaders said the announcement confirmed their belief that the U.S. workforce was a major factor in the Pentagon’s decision.
“The fact that Boeing was able to submit the lower-price bid shows the value of having a skilled, dedicated and flexible union workforce,” said District 751 President Tom Wroblewski. “Since 2008, Boeing executives have worked hand-in-hand with members of the IAM and SPEEA to establish a new, more-efficient 767 production line in Everett, which allowed the company to offer a lower bid. We now know that was a crucial factor in the decision.”
An article published in the March 7 issue of the Seattle weekly, The Stranger, provides an irreverent but accurate look at how IAM members provided Boeing with a competitive advantage in the tanker bidding competition. Click here to read ‘ Boeing’s Secret Weapon in Tanker Competition? Organized Labor.’