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February 4, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan
Aerospace giant Boeing Co. said it is going to start cranking out the company's bestselling 737 jets at its highest production rate ever. The company, which assembles the single-aisle airliner in Renton, Wash., said it is going to build 737s at the increased rate of 42 airplanes per month. That's up 33% from 31.5 planes a month since 2010. Mechanics will load initial parts into an automated assembly machine on Wednesday, which marks the start of the new rate, Boeing said. The first 737 built at the new rate is scheduled to be delivered in the second quarter.
January 27, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
The Federal Aviation Administration ordered inspections Monday of Boeing 767 jets to check for problems that could result in a "possible loss of control of the airplane," according to a notice published in the Federal Register.  Monday's order is the latest in a string of inspections dating back to 2000. The FAA is calling for inspections of the horizontal flight-control surfaces, called elevators, that help the jets climb and descend. The agency said faulty parts could result "in a significant pitch upset" and cause pilots to lose control of the aircraft.
January 19, 2014 | Los Angeles Times
Regarding "Next Stop Was America," by Jane Lavere, Jan. 12: The Red Star Museum asked for stories. Here's one I sent. We'll visit the museum later this year. My maternal grandparents, Itzig (Jacob) and Blima Dora Rebecca Haimotiz Pinkowitz, traveled from their village in Romania to Philadelphia via the Red Star Line at the turn of the 20th century. Their leaving was probably due to fear of anti-Semitism and a search for a better life. My grandfather and his eldest daughter crossed the Atlantic on the Red Star Line ship Switzerland, leaving Antwerp, Belgium, on Aug. 1, 1900, and arriving in Philadelphia.
January 13, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan
European aircraft maker Airbus captured a record number of orders for new commercial jets last year, taking in 1,503 orders worth $225 billion. Airbus soared past Chicago-based rival Boeing Co.'s total of 1,355 aircraft. But the company trailed behind Boeing's 648 deliveries last year. Airbus said it had delivered a total of 626 aircraft in 2013, up from 588 in 2012. The two companies are neck and neck in the large jet market, with each looking for even the smallest of financial gains over the other.
January 7, 2014
Re "Big tax breaks for the taking," Column, Jan. 5 As Boeing's threat to relocate final assembly of its new 777X from Washington state to whichever state or whichever workers can offer it the best deal shows, the race to the bottom continues. Corporations play one government against another to gain tax breaks and other benefits. The "winning" entity often receives dubious value in return for the gifts. The primary effect nationwide is to reduce the corporations' tax contributions, transferring the burden to individuals.
January 7, 2014 | By Hedrick Smith
The narrowly approved contract agreement between Boeing and its Washington state workforce will be hailed by some as a victory for the canny, hardball brinkmanship of Boeing's management and the knuckle-under economic pragmatism of the International Machinists Union. But the steep cutbacks in retirement and health benefits that tens of thousands of Boeing workers were forced to swallow have far larger implications for middle-class America. Boeing's stingy treatment of its highly skilled workforce offers a vivid example of how America's new economy has created gaping economic inequalities and steadily squeezed the economic life out of the U.S. middle class over the last three decades, even as corporate profits and CEO pay have skyrocketed.
January 6, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan and Maria L. La Ganga
SEATTLE - After battling for months with Boeing Co.'s leadership, the company's largest union approved an eight-year contract that trades hard-fought pension benefits for the right to build the 777X airliner - a bitterly fought concession that underscores unions' uphill battle at the bargaining table. The contract approved late Friday was negotiated not with a bankrupt city or a struggling manufacturer, but with a company that delivered a record 648 planes last year and whose shares traded at all-time highs on the New York Stock Exchange.
January 5, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
Here's a business practice likely to keep booming in 2014: corporate extortion. We don't mean extortion of corporations, as is practiced by Somali pirates or entrepreneurial Russians. We mean extortion by corporations. In this field the victims are taxpayers, and what makes it a beautiful business is that the taxpayers think they're getting a great deal, even as they're led to the shearing. And a lucrative shearing it is, for business: By the estimate of the Washington-based Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, state and local tax incentives funnel $50 billion in tax revenue into corporate coffers every year.
January 3, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan and Maria L. La Ganga
SEATTLE - By the slimmest of margins, aerospace giant Boeing Co.'s largest union approved a controversial contract proposal that cut benefits in exchange for decades of work in Puget Sound on a new jetliner. The International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 751, which represents more than 31,000 Boeing workers in Washington state, voted 51% Friday in favor of a contract to build the 777X, a more fuel-efficient version of its wide-body jet. It is the second time in two months that the union voted on a proposal by Boeing, the biggest private employer in the state with about 82,500 employees and a crucial part of the regional economy.
January 3, 2014 | By Maria L. La Ganga and W.J. Hennigan
EVERETT, Wash. -- The union hall closest to Boeing Co.'s biggest manufacturing operation swarmed with activity Friday afternoon, as hundreds of machinist union members queued up to vote on the aerospace giant's latest contract. The International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 751, which represents more than 31,000 Boeing workers in Washington state, are voting Friday on a contract that would ensure that construction on the 777X airliner would stay in the region.
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