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Boeing’s Washington workers get record bonuses, more than double last year’s $230M

Boeing worker Emily Wheeler lies on her back to take a photo of the belly of a Boeing 737 MAX 7, the newest version of Boeing's fastest-selling airplane, during a debut for employees and media of the new jet Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, in Renton, Wash. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
Boeing worker Emily Wheeler lies on her back to take a photo of the belly of a Boeing 737 MAX 7, the newest version of Boeing's fastest-selling airplane, during a debut for employees and media of the new jet Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, in Renton, Wash. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
By Dominic Gates Seattle Times

SEATTLE – Boeing employees across Washington state will receive bonuses totaling nearly $600 million in the coming weeks, the largest annual bonus payout in company history.

The total includes payouts to both white-collar employees and machinists on the factory floor.

A year ago, based on 2016 performance, white-collar employees in the state received a total of $170 million while the machinists were paid a total of $63 million in bonuses.

The larger bonuses this year are a result of Boeing making a profit of $8.2 billion in 2017, up from $4.9 billion a year earlier, with employees delivering a record number of commercial airplanes and reaching new productivity highs.

“This just shows us that when we all work together, we can’t be beat,” Kevin McAllister, chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement. “When we all work to drive safety, quality, flow and productivity, we all share in the value.”

The white-collar bonuses are based on a complex Boeing financial measure-the economic profit of the company, calculated by taking the year’s profits and subtracting an amount related to assets including inventory, buildings and equipment-and on the performance of the business unit the employee works in.

Members of the International Association of Machinists union at Boeing have a separate incentive plan that’s based on metrics assessing quality, productivity and safety.

The bonuses will be distributed in employee paychecks in February and March.

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