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Businesses Leaders Unite in Efforts to Keep Boeing Production in Washington, Announces Washington Roundtable

Dépèche transmise le 7 juillet 2009 par Business Wire

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Businesses in Washington state are united in their resolve to keep production of Boeing airplanes in Washington, according to Washington Roundtable President Steve Mullin.

Mullin’s comments come on the heels of an announcement early today that Boeing is acquiring a South Carolina plant where Vought Aircraft Industries currently builds the two rear fuselage sections of the 787.

Citing the potential that Boeing could open a production line in South Carolina as a devastating blow to the Washington state economy and its prospects for early economic recovery, Mullin said he expects the Roundtable and other business organizations to come together in a full court press encouraging Boeing to keep production in Washington.

Mullin released comments from business leaders demonstrating broad agreement that, while they respect Boeing’s right to make a business decision, the negative effects on the state would be substantial.

Today’s comments from business leaders include:

Steve Mullin, President

Washington Roundtable

“Boeing has to make a business decision about where future production should go. I want it to be here in Washington, but there are absolutely no guarantees anymore.

“Boeing is a global company and they will locate where it makes the best business sense. Their customers are going to have a lot to say about it and some of those customers have expressed concern about Boeing’s labor relations here in the Seattle area.”

John Stanton, Chair

Washington Roundtable

“Unless things change, Boeing’s future will be outside the Northwest and that will be devastating to the Washington economy.

“My father worked 25 years for Boeing and I know firsthand just how skilled the workforce is, but Boeing customers are telling the company that workers need to be reliable as well as skilled. Airlines simply can’t make billion-dollar decisions on new aircraft and then face the prospect of delivery delays because of labor disputes. If the workers and the company can’t figure out how to trust each other and get along, then the company has little choice but to locate operations in communities that will be more welcoming. If Seattle wants to keep Boeing, they better stand up and show it because there are dozens of other states that will welcome the jobs and the economic activity.”

Phil Bussey, President and CEO

Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce

“I want future Boeing production in the Puget Sound region, not just for the direct jobs, but also for all the indirect jobs that Boeing creates and the community support they provide. This region is home to a world-class aerospace sector and we need to keep it vibrant and growing. The community must speak loud and clear that we value Boeing’s contribution to our economy and our way of life.

“Boeing and aerospace are as important to the vitality of this region as the Mariners and the Seahawks. They need to know how much they are valued.”

Don Brunell, President

Association of Washington Business

“This is our wake-up call. In this economic climate, businesses must locate where they have the best chance for success. If staying in Washington makes Boeing less competitive, it has to look at other options. Boeing must deliver value to their customers by delivering products cost-effectively and on time. That means Boeing cannot have frequent strikes and labor discord.”

Richard Davis, Coordinator

Washington Alliance for a Competitive Economy (WashACE)

“Boeing jobs would be a prize for any state. Losing the second line of the 787 would be a substantial loss for our economy. Washington has highly skilled workers but it also has a history of difficult labor relations. It’s logical for the company to try and expand its options. In addition to losing the jobs created by the second 787 line, we could face the potential loss of related manufacturing jobs. With Boeing going there would be less reason to stay.”

Mullin said that while business leaders understand why Boeing could decide to create a production line in business-friendly South Carolina, he believes there are equally compelling reasons why it is in the best interest of the company to stay in the Puget Sound area, providing that a few issues can be resolved.

“Our task over the next few months will be to make the case for Washington and our experienced workforce. If we can do that, then we have a fighting chance,” Mullin said.

Business Wire

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