By Peter Sanders
CHICAGO—Boeing Co. said it would build a second final assembly line for its troubled 787 Dreamliner jet in South Carolina, a move that spurns the powerful aircraft machinists’ union that had been negotiating with Boeing to locate the work at the current factory near Seattle.
Boeing has been laying the groundwork for a new factory in South Carolina for months and could begin construction at a facility it owns in North Charleston, S.C., as early as Nov. 2. The factory is expected to be operational by July 2011.
Boeing’s decision comes after a flurry of lobbying by officials in both Washington and South Carolina. On Wednesday the South Carolina legislature moved to offer Boeing a variety of tax incentives to lure the company to build a massive new factory on the site of an existing facility it owns in North Charleston.
It’s the first time since 2006 that Boeing will assemble a commercial airplane outside of the Puget Sound area and provides the company with an assembly line beyond the reach of the labor union that has caused production headaches off and on for decades in Seattle.