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Machinists reject Boeing labor contract offer

Ray Conner, executive vice president of The Boeing Company and president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, speaks to the media during an announcement of the commitment for Ryanair to purchase aircraft from Boeing, in New York March 19, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Machinist union leaders on Thursday rejected a labor contract offer from Boeing Co (BA) that would have located production of the new 777X jetliner in Washington state, according to a Boeing statement.

"We entered these discussions to address the concerns we were hearing from our employees," said Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

"We've listened to the union leadership and had an open dialogue in hopes of moving toward each other. Unfortunately the offer, which would have ensured this great airplane for the Puget Sound region, was immediately rejected by the union leadership."

A union spokesman did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Boeing had met with the union leaders three times over the past three days. On Wednesday, International Association of Machinists District 751 President Tom Wroblewski gave a contract proposal to Conner.

Talks on a labor deal broke off last month after the machinists voted to reject Boeing's contract offer by a 2-1 margin. After the vote Boeing sought bids from more than a dozen states interested in hosting the new 777X factory.

(Reporting by Alwyn Scott and Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Gary Hill and Stephen Coates)