As we all know, The Boeing Co. plans to continue to be an international force for years to come in building airliners. As such, when they see that they need to shift direction, they will invest to do that, even with some substantial short-term costs. Short-term to Boeing may be 15 to 20 years, half a working lifetime for a Boeing Machinist.
They also watch history. Boeing does not want to go through what the U.S. auto industry has been through and then need a government bailout or worse. Everett/Seattle and the state of Washington do not want to become Detroit and Michigan.
In my opinion, three things need to happen at this stage to help insure that Everett to lands the 777. One, the machinists need to realize we are in an international labor market and return to the ballot box and pass the labor proposal Boeing and the International Union had them vote on. Two, the Legislature needs to finish and pass the transportation legislation. And three, Washington needs to do what Michigan did in 2011 to become more competitive — have the Legislature vote to have Washington become a right-to-work state.
Boeing wants a reliable work force and favorable tax situation among other things. You hear about how large Washington’s tax breaks are for Boeing. However, perhaps Washington’s taxes were significantly higher than any other state, and so needed to have a larger break just to be equal with other states.
What we do not know is if Boeing has already decided to just start leaving Washington. If that is the case, we have given them plenty of excuses.