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Boeing, Going, Gone: It’s all in the eye of the beholder for Gregoire, Hewitt, Brown

Post by Joe Turner on Oct. 28, 2009 at 12:06 pm | No Comments »
October 28, 2009 2:31 pm

The likelihood that Boeing is moving more of its operations to South Carolina hit a nerve with our elected officials. Here are the comments from the governor, Senate minority leader and Senate majority leader.

(Posted in the order in which they arrived in my e-mail box.)

UPDATE: I Dream of Jeanne has a comment, too.

Here is Gov. Chris Gregoire‘s take:

Gov. Gregoire’s statement on Boeing 787 second line

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today issued the following statement on Boeing’s 787 second production line:

“My philosophy is ‘it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.’ I am continuing to work with both sides to urge them to keep talking and reach an agreement that would result in the second line being located in Washington. Senator Murray, Representative Dicks and Representative Larsen are also working hard on this and I appreciate their tireless efforts. If there is a deal to be struck, we will leave no stone unturned in trying to strike it.

“I absolutely believe Washington is the best place for Boeing to locate its second line. We have more than $3 billion on the table in incentives, the best workforce in the world, and the lowest production risk for the company. I have not given up hope that the labor/management issues that are central to Boeing’s decision can be resolved.”

Here is Senate Minority Leader Mike Hewitt‘s take on things:

Sen. Mike Hewitt’s statement on South Carolina’s new incentives for Boeing; the company’s imminent decision

“Yesterday the South Carolina Legislature passed a package of incentives to lure Boeing and create 3,800 jobs there. Let me say that slowly: Three thousand, eight hundred family-wage jobs that should be going to Washington – and would be, if everyone involved really understood what’s at stake. Think how many Washington families’ lives would be changed if those jobs were created here.

“It’s obviously ‘game on’ in South Carolina. They get it. Why isn’t the Washington Legislature in special session right now enacting reasonable workers’ compensation reform and looking at other ideas to attract and retain these jobs?

“This is like a football game where South Carolina’s team is marching down the field in the final minutes ready to score a touchdown. Washington knows the score is close, but just hopes it has enough points already on the board to win the game. Is that the time to sit on the sidelines and simply hope for the best? No – and neither is this.

“Labor, business and policy leaders need to unite to retain good jobs here. Time is almost up. It isn’t just Boeing jobs that are at stake. It’s the jobs at all the smaller companies that supply Boeing, plus those who provide services and goods to its workers. Washington must show it’s serious about keeping those jobs here. If we don’t, we’ll regret it for generations to come.”

Here are Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown‘s comments:

Statement from Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown on the state of talks between Boeing and the Machinists

“Today’s news that Boeing’s 787 second production line may be headed to South Carolina is very troubling. I’ve spoken with Sen. Patty Murray’s office this morning. Like most Washingtonians, we both want the second line of the 787 made here in Washington where it belongs.

“I’ve talked with the Machinists, and I know that Washington’s economy relies upon the tens of thousands of family wage jobs Boeing brings to the state. And I’ve talked with Boeing, and I know that Boeing relies upon Washington’s broad and highly skilled workforce that is the lifeblood of the aerospace industry.

“As I’ve told the Boeing’s Commerical Planes Division President and CEO Jim Albaugh, I believe the solution to Boeing’s needs can best be determined locally. The state Legislature has a long track record of working with Boeing on its key issues, including providing billions in tax incentives and, perhaps most importantly, investing in aerospace worker training and apprenticeships.

“I point this out not to say that Boeing should be satisfied with past efforts, but rather to demonstrate our willingness to do all we can to keep Boeing competitive on the global stage. And in the face of steadily greater global competition in the aerospace industry, I believe Boeing and the 787 are positioned most competitively right here in Washington.”

Statement from Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles on the state of talks between Boeing and the Machinists

“As chair of the Senate Labor, Commerce & Consumer Protection Committee, I know that Boeing is a critical part of Washington’s economy. Our state and Boeing have had a mutually beneficial relationship that has paid dividends for Boeing, our workers, their families and our economy for nearly a century.

“Now is not the time for finger pointing and political posturing. Now is the time for constructive solutions. I am hopeful that there is still progress to be made.

“The impasse between Boeing and the Machinists is real. I’ve talked with both sides, and I see both sides of the issue. Washington doesn’t want to become a state with few protections for the middle class. At the same time, Boeing needs and deserves predictability and certainty in its workforce.

“I believe and hope that common ground between Boeing and the Machinists is still possible.

“There is no question there would be a major effect on Washington’s economy without Boeing. Just as there is little question that Boeing would be worse off without Washington’s skilled workforce, strong education and competitive infrastructure.”

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