In both Washington, D.C. and here in Washington State, Boeing’s supporters reacted with shock and even anger to the Pentagon’s announcement today that a consortium of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. and Northrop Grumman had beaten Boeing for a $40 billion Air Force tanker contract.
In Everett, where the 767 tanker would have been assembled, union members who had gathered at the Machinists Union Hall intending to celebrate the tanker contract award to Boeing, instead found themselves hastily arranging a protest rally.
"I would have to say the mood here is angry," said International Association of Machinists District Local 751 spokeswoman Connie Kelliher.
"I don’t think that anyone who has worked on this 767 tanker project can believe that the deal went to a plane manufactured overseas."
The Machinists represent among others workers who build 767s in Boeing’s huge Everett wide-body plant.
At the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, which represents Boeing engineers and technical employees, shock described the reaction.
"I am very disappointed for our members and all employees at The Boeing Co.," said Cynthia Cole, SPEEA’s president. "I’m surprised the Air Force chose an unproven technology and and inferior product for this important program that supports the men and women in our armed forces," she said.