Top (L-R): Maria Cantwell, Jay Inslee, Rick Larsen, Dave Somers. Bottom (L-R): Ray Stephanson, Patty Murray, Cassie Franklin, Suzan DelBene.

Top (L-R): Maria Cantwell, Jay Inslee, Rick Larsen, Dave Somers. Bottom (L-R): Ray Stephanson, Patty Murray, Cassie Franklin, Suzan DelBene.

Boeing’s decision derided as disappointing and misguided

Civic leaders vow to continue supporting aerospace fims and bring 787 production back to Everett.

EVERETT — Boeing’s pending decision to end production of 787 Dreamliners in Everett is not sitting well with civic leaders.

In interviews and statements Wednesday, they expressed deep disappointment. Several called the strategy of consolidating assembly of the passenger jet in South Carolina misguided and short-sighted. They all reacted to a story in the Wall Street Journal.

And Gov. Jay Inslee said if the aerospace giant goes through with the move, it would force the state to take “a hard look at the company’s favorable tax treatment.”

Here are excerpts from comments obtained Wednesday:


Jay Inslee

Jay Inslee

Gov. Jay Inslee:

“If the Wall Street Journal report is accurate, Boeing would be turning its back on the finest workers and the best place in the world to build airplanes. Washington state has supported the company with a well-trained workforce, a robust supply line, unparalleled infrastructure, world-class research institutions and the best business climate in America.

“If this report is true, it would force a review of that partnership, including a hard look at the company’s favorable tax treatment

“We have asked the Boeing Company multiple times what it needs to keep 787 production in Washington. We’ve heard nothing back. Nor have we heard anything about how to restart this work when conditions improve. This move would signal an allegiance to short-term profits and Wall Street — not quality, safety and a vision for the future of the industry.”


Dave Somers (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

Dave Somers (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers:

“If this news is confirmed by Boeing, it is not what we had hoped for. Our top concern is with the families, workers, suppliers, and businesses this decision impacts. COVID-19 has pushed our economy into unwelcome and uncharted territory, and this is a another blow. But we are resilient. We have survived tough times before, and we will get through this. We also know that Boeing has made long-term investments in Everett, and we will continue to support the other work that continues here. Over the last few years, we have been aggressively strengthening our training programs to make sure we have the gold standard workforce development system. Snohomish County will continue to thrive, diversify our economy, and attract new businesses, including any future innovation planned by the company.”


 

Cassie Franklin (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Cassie Franklin (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin:

“Boeing is part of the fabric of our community, and hearing this is truly painful. But regardless of where Boeing chooses to locate any of its product lines, Everett remains a world class aviation and aerospace manufacturing hub. We have an outstanding, talented and skilled workforce, and our city has the infrastructure needed to continue to spur future growth and innovation. This loss hurts us, but we are strong and resilient. My commitment to the Boeing Company, aerospace industry partners, and our incredibly dedicated workforce remains unwavering and we’ll continue working together to ensure the world’s best planes continue to take flight from Everett.”


Jon Holden, president of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 751:

“They haven’t announced a decision. We’re not going to concede it is a foregone conclusion and we’re going to continue to fight to keep these jobs here. If the decision is to move the 787 out of Washington, everyone should feel betrayed.”

Larry Brown

Larry Brown

Washington State Labor Council President Larry Brown, a former Boeing employee who served as political director for IAM District 751:

“Until we hear a formal announcement from Boeing about its plans for 787 production, we will continue to make the case that Washington remains the smart choice for its 787 assembly. Here in Washington, the company has a long history of success. Here in Washington, state and local governments have gone to extraordinary lengths — from major tax incentives to workforce training programs — to help Boeing succeed. But most importantly, here in Washington, you’ll find what is widely acknowledged to be the best and most efficient aerospace workforce in the world.

“Because of the pandemic, the company is already experiencing a significant talent drain by laying off experienced Machinists and Engineers. It would be a mistake to accelerate that loss of expertise by shifting production away from Washington. To emerge from this downturn, Boeing needs to invest in its future and in the development of new airplane programs to rebuild its market share. Industry analysts agree that Washington is the best place for that to happen — now and in the future.”


Lisa Lefeber

Lisa Lefeber

Port of Everett CEO Lisa Lefeber:

“If today’s news reports on the 787 move proves true, this would be a devastating loss that will have far-reaching personal and economic impacts on this community. The Boeing Company is the foundation and heartbeat of our city, county and state. COVID has hit our aerospace industry especially hard, and if a move of the line does occur, we will continue to advocate for its return to Everett once the aerospace industry and air travel resumes. Everett is the aerospace manufacturing capital of the world, and the Port of Everett will continue to do everything we can to help keep it that way. We still believe this is the best place, with the best workforce to build Boeing airplanes.”


Rick Larsen (AP/Susan Walsh, file)

Rick Larsen (AP/Susan Walsh, file)

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen:

“Boeing’s decision to pull its 787 production out of Washington state is shortsighted and misplaced. The Pacific Northwest is home to the best aviation and aerospace workforce in the world. The strength of the Pacific Northwest’s aviation and aerospace industry includes the region’s strong education system, trained workforce, robust supply chain, extensive manufacturing experience and overall quality of life. We have earned our place as the leader in the U.S. aerospace industry and will continue to earn it. The aviation and aerospace industry and the Pacific Northwest must be prepared for a future where Boeing continues to build airplanes here and we use our strengths in aerospace and innovation to invest in emerging aerospace tech, support the work of new entrants in the airspace and lead on environmentally sustainable aviation fuel. As the economy comes back and air travel returns, I will fight to bring 787 production back to Everett.”


Suzan DelBene

Suzan DelBene

U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene:

“I am deeply disappointed by Boeing’s decision to move its 787 Dreamliner production line out of Washington.

“Washington state has been the home to Boeing and the world’s strongest aerospace community for decades. Our highly trained workforce, strong education pipeline, extensive supply chain, significant investment in aerospace innovation and infrastructure, and overall quality of life give our region a unique advantage in this sector, and that will continue. This decision is misguided and hurts the communities and workers that have helped make the company so successful.

“I will work with my colleagues in the Washington congressional delegation, state officials, and private sector leaders to bring the 787 back to Everett.”


Pramila Jayapal

Pramila Jayapal

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal:

“The company’s misguided decision to dishonor workers throughout the Pacific Northwest by turning their back on our region is wrong. I will not stop fighting to lift workers up — from those harmed by Boeing’s shortsighted decision to those out of work due to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. I will work with our state’s Congressional Delegation to do everything we can to bring 787 production back to Everett and to lay the groundwork for new investments in aerospace and manufacturing jobs.

“The Pacific Northwest has long been an unparalleled and trusted leader in the aviation and aerospace industry. A company didn’t build that success and reputation; workers did. For decades, talented and dedicated engineers, machinists and workers across our region proudly contributed their skills and ingenuity around the clock to power Boeing, our economy and this country to new heights. Quality, safety and overall success are all foolishly sacrificed when production moves to a region without this kind of expertise — made clear by safety lapses and “shoddy production” at the North Charleston plant in 2019 and again last month when eight 787 jets were pulled from service after flaws were identified at the South Carolina factory.”


Maria Cantwell

Maria Cantwell

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell:

“I don’t agree with the decision to shut down 787 production in Everett. Everett provides capacity that will be needed. We should be taking the opportunity now to prepare for a recovery in aviation demand by retaining a production workforce in Everett and keeping the supply chain hot and ready for higher production levels.

“I plan to work with regional leaders in business, labor, and education on workforce training programs in composite design optimization and composite fault diagnosis that will produce true cost savings in any aircraft production, including the next plane. Additionally, we are moving through Congress more financial flexibility for the supply chain in the next COVID relief package that will help keep supply chain production and be ready for demand to return.

“A decision to move production to South Carolina will ultimately be followed by a push to pay the workforce there the wage they deserve. At that point, I’m not sure what this move will have been all about.”


Sen. Patty Murray

Sen. Patty Murray

U.S. Sen Patty Murray:

My heart goes out to the workers at Boeing hearing this news, and I’m pushing Boeing for more information about how they came to this decision. While these are difficult times, it would be absolutely inexcusable for Boeing to turn its back completely on the skilled and dedicated workers that have helped make the company so successful and who continue to make our state the best place in the nation for innovation and manufacturing.

We need more details about exactly how this will affect workers in Snohomish County and across our state. I’m pressing for answers, and no matter what, in the coming days, weeks and months I stand ready to do whatever I can on the federal level to make sure families and workers at Boeing have what they need to make it through this uncertain time.


Jennifer Gregerson (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Jennifer Gregerson (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson:

“Boeing’s decision to relocate its 787 production is a devastating blow to our state, and more importantly to the workforce and families impacted by this. Mukilteo is home to many Boeing employees, and I am deeply concerned with how this will affect them.

“Washington state has always supported Boeing’s operations and used all the tools available to our state. If these reports are true, there is a clear risk that Washington’s economy could be impacted severely by this move, which comes during already tough times due to COVID-19.

“I stand by Boeing employees who oppose this move, and support maintaining all manufacturing in Washington state. I agree with our Congressional leadership, Boeing should not cut its Puget Sound workforce further without a real plan for retaining and retraining that skilled workforce.”


Ray Stephanson

Ray Stephanson

Ray Stephanson, former Everett mayor:

“I am deeply disappointed. I understand business decisions. I could understand suspending production but to say we’re going to close it … is premature and misguided. I did everything in my 14 years (as mayor) to support Boeing and fought hard to get the 777X expansion in Everett. This frankly feels a little like a slap in the face.”

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