Murray: Carolina decision ‘shortsighted’

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray criticized Boeing’s decision to break off talks toward a long-term contract with its Puget Sound Machinists and instead move a second 787 final assembly line to South Carolina.

She called it “a shortsighted decision.”

“We had an opportunity today to take a step toward workforce stability and a win for Boeing, our workers, and the state of Washington,” the Senator said. “I am disappointed that Boeing cut off negotiations and passed on a final chance to make this happen.”

Boeing has miscalculated the value of having skilled and experienced workers it can rely on, she said. ” The dedication and quality of product Washington state provides is not something you can build overnight.  The passion and history of grandparents passing knowledge, know-how and skills to the next generation is not something that can be reflected on balance sheets.”

Murray — who has been a consistent supporter of Boeing in Congress on issues like fair trade and the proposed U.S. tanker deal —  made an 11th-hour effort this week to keep Boeing and the Machinists talking. The Union accepted her offer, but Boeing executives ignored her.

Murray wasn’t alone among Washington’s Congressional delegation in criticizing the South Carolina move. First District Congressman Rick Larsen, who represents Everett, called it “a mistake.”

“The best aerospace workers in the world are in the Pacific Northwest,” he said. “To build the 787 anywhere else but in the Puget Sound region is a mistake.”

And Sen. Maria Cantwell issued a statement in which she said she warned Boeing executives against “the potential risk of starting up a second line in South Carolina, a state with limited aerospace engineering experience.”

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  1. […] Boeing is telling customers that the first Dreamliner will fly before the end of the year, with deliveries set to start in late 2010. The District 751 Members who actually build the planes are committed to making that happen, Union President Tom Wroblewski said, despite last week’s disappointing announcement regarding the second 787 production line. […]



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