When Gov. Chris Gregoire asked Boeing what else it needed from the state before it made it’s decision about a second 787 assembly line, the company said “No.”
“He said, ‘I’ll let you know if there is,’ ” Gregoire said today of her recent meeting with Boeing Commercial Airplane Group president Jim Albaugh.
“There’s nothing more we can do,” Gregoire said, the day after releasing a report that makes the economic and quality of life case for keeping both assembly lines in Everett. Boeing has said it is looking at other states to build some of the new Dreamliner and South Carolina is the state most mentioned.
Gregoire termed her meeting with Albaugh “positive” and that the company was very receptive to the report. She said Albaugh said some of the data was known to the company but “we had more than what they had.”
Gregoire was dismissive of South Carolina’s case, saying that the company will make the siting decision before the state returns into session. That means, she said, that all they can offer is promises while the state already passed $3.2 billion in incentives for the first 787 line that will effect the second line as well.
“No one has anything like that in the country,” she said. “South Carolina isn’t even in session.”
“If you objectively compare Washington state to South Carolina, there is no question Washington state is by far the better place to locate the second line,” she said.
Gregoire said she has spoken to the company’s unions about concerns that they are too contentious, too strike-oriented. But she said she agreed to say nothing publicly and encourage the two sides to work on improving relations.
“I think the best thing for the politicians to do is to stay out of it,” she said.
As for other incentives, especially changes to workers compensation and unemployment insurance to make them less costly, Gregoire made no specific promises.
“We are always working on Boeing issues,” she said.