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Boeing, Machinists and denial (Opinion)
Seattle Times ^ | October 28, 2009 | Danny Westneat

Posted on 10/28/2009 11:12:18 AM PDT by jazusamo

So Boeing is threatening to jilt us (again). To run out on our nine decades of marriage with someone smarter? Better? More reliable?

Nope. With someone cheaper.

Take away the heat, all the union-bashing or management second-guessing as Boeing now appears ready to move a major piece of its plane-building operations to South Carolina. At the core of this breakup drama is a cold statistic: 14.

As in $14. Per hour.

That's the average pay of the local line workers who are building the fuselage of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner in a Charleston, S.C., plant.

Average pay of a Boeing Machinist around here? $28 an hour. Now, these pay averages aren't directly comparable, say people in the know. Many of Boeing's workers in South Carolina are younger or less experienced (the plant is only 4 years old). So the average pay there tilts lower.

Still, the average pay at Costco stores around Seattle is $17 an hour. According to PayScale, a Seattle company that tracks wages, the average for a hairstylist in Seattle is $18.24 an hour.

So Boeing right now is paying less to build airplanes in South Carolina than we pay for cutting hair or shelving 3-pound jars of olives.

How can we compete with that?

"It's like they have people who used to work at Kmart, trying to build an airplane."

That's Jack Day, a "shaper operator" at Boeing's sheet-metal plant in Auburn. Basically, he cuts parts in exacting detail so they fit into airplanes. Everything from flight decks to door frames.

He's been doing it for 37 years. His dad was a Boeing mechanic, and before that his grandmother was a factory clerk and a Rosie the Riveter.

(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.nwsource.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; US: South Carolina; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: 787; aerospace; boeing; manufacturing; unions
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The IAM is doing their best to force that second line to go to SC.

Boeing talks fall apart; SC likely to get 787 line

1 posted on 10/28/2009 11:12:19 AM PDT by jazusamo
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To: All
Please bump the Freepathon and donate if you haven’t done so!

2 posted on 10/28/2009 11:15:01 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
Many of Boeing's workers in South Carolina are younger or less experienced (the plant is only 4 years old). So the average pay there tilts lower.

Of course if they are younger it means they'll be around longer, too.

And, regarding the "how can we compete with that" line - the same can be said of anyone whose job is now done for lower cost at offshore locations.

So, in short ... "Cry me a river."

3 posted on 10/28/2009 11:17:33 AM PDT by The Duke ("Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Democrat Party?")
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To: jazusamo

The author makes a pretty good argument to leave a high cost of living place like Seattle and move elsewhere. Boo hoo.


4 posted on 10/28/2009 11:18:47 AM PDT by caver (Obama's first goals: allow more killing of innocents and allow the killers of innocents to go free.)
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To: jazusamo
But I also think we're in denial about what's happening here. I bet 25 years ago in Detroit, they thought nobody in the South could figure out how to build cars, either.

The author eventually gets it. BTW - And it is not just about wages. It is also about not dealing with militant marxist unions on a daily basis. Productivity goes way up.

5 posted on 10/28/2009 11:19:02 AM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: jazusamo

“How can we compete with that?”

Typical clueless, narcissistic lib response. The author had the answer, but chose not to see it: “With someone cheaper.”

Arrogant Seattle libtards priced themselves out of the competition. They didn’t think that such a move had any consequences.


6 posted on 10/28/2009 11:19:30 AM PDT by Noumenon (Work that AQT - turn ammunition into skill. No tyrant can maintain a 300 yard perimeter forever.)
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To: jazusamo

I love the move. There are lots of companies moving to the south where wages and cost of living is lower. I see nothing wrong with a company moving from one state to another to escape high costs of manufacturing. There has to be some check on costs in states.


7 posted on 10/28/2009 11:19:32 AM PDT by HwyChile
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To: The Duke

Yep, and he brings out an excellent point about the auto industry in the South.


8 posted on 10/28/2009 11:21:01 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Let’s see....Joe Wilson (R-SC) or Patty Murray (D-WA) or Maria Cantwell (D-WA)? Sure one is a Congressman, and the others Senators....but WHO would YOU want representing you?


9 posted on 10/28/2009 11:22:11 AM PDT by goodnesswins (Democrats are RACISTS and are afraid of losing their PLANTATION workers)
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To: jazusamo

I live in Washington, a 3 hour drive to the west of Seattle.

I am thrilled with the Seattle libs losing their jobs and tax base. This state needs it’s back broken, so that it has a chance to rebuild over the top of the libs.


10 posted on 10/28/2009 11:22:53 AM PDT by Gator113 (Obamba, Reid, Pelosi, the socialist triad.)
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To: 2banana
The author eventually gets it.

Yes he does and he's well aware that the union doesn't.

11 posted on 10/28/2009 11:23:21 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: The Duke
And, regarding the "how can we compete with that" line...

The way anyone, anywhere competes. Deliver more value per dollar than the other guy. Why does locating yourself in a high-cost area mean that you deserve more pay than someone in a low-cost area for the same work?

12 posted on 10/28/2009 11:25:12 AM PDT by Onelifetogive (Liberals are always one genocide away from Utopia.)
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To: goodnesswins

Believe me when I say I know because those two are my senators tho they don’t represent me.


13 posted on 10/28/2009 11:25:38 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: The Duke

The same could be said for assembly people in an electronics company. Sounds to me like someone wants socialized pay. The fact remains that if you want to make the big bucks, get a better education, change companies, change professions, work your butt off without complaining.....or start your own company. If you start your own company, you will have to decide what each and every job is worth.


14 posted on 10/28/2009 11:26:59 AM PDT by RC2
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To: jazusamo

Don’t think the $28 includes taxes and benefits.

The unions can be unsavory in other ways - like their workers taking off during the week so they come in on overtime to do their work. Because of the union they get the idea that they can get away with almost anything and they can - for a while. I know someone who was trying to put a stop to at least some of this in one Boeing location.


15 posted on 10/28/2009 11:27:43 AM PDT by Aria ( "The US republic will endure until Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the people's $.")
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To: jazusamo
How can we compete with that?
Hmm, a good start would be electing someone other than tax mad liberals...
Captain Obvious to the rescue!
16 posted on 10/28/2009 11:29:24 AM PDT by astyanax (Liberalism: Logic's retarded cousin.)
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To: jazusamo

Well, that settles it.

I’m not flying anymore unless it’s an emergency. Between the hassles of airports, car rentals, airport traffic, it’s not worth it if I can drive a car to the same destination within a day.

I don’t trust the quality of workmanship from low paid workers.
Next they’ll be making them in China.


17 posted on 10/28/2009 11:29:43 AM PDT by Frenchtown Dan
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To: Gator113

3 hours west of Seattle? You live either in Forks or have a houseboat on the pacific ocean.


18 posted on 10/28/2009 11:29:53 AM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
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To: Gator113
This state needs it’s back broken, so that it has a chance to rebuild over the top of the libs.

err...this strategy doesn't always work and a lot of innocent people can get hurt along the way. But I do wish we could get an honest election - those seem to be a thing of the past after the Rossi fiasco.

19 posted on 10/28/2009 11:30:44 AM PDT by Aria ( "The US republic will endure until Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the people's $.")
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To: Aria

That’s true, Boeing has had problems here from strikes and the entitlement mindset.


20 posted on 10/28/2009 11:36:21 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: pissant

LOL... not bad. Port Angels. Forks is another hour west.


21 posted on 10/28/2009 11:41:22 AM PDT by Gator113 (Obamba, Reid, Pelosi, the socialist triad.)
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To: Frenchtown Dan
“I don’t trust the quality of workmanship from low paid workers.”

That is the most illogical sentence I have ever read. If we paid the same workers 10 times as much would that make them more qualified.

The non-union workers in the south are much better workers and produce a much better product than the union workers up north. That's why all the foreign cars are made in the south—better workers and better quality.

22 posted on 10/28/2009 11:41:24 AM PDT by HwyChile
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To: Gator113

That’s Port Angeles...... damn, I’m having a senior moment.


23 posted on 10/28/2009 11:42:46 AM PDT by Gator113 (Obamba, Reid, Pelosi, the socialist triad.)
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To: Aria
“err...this strategy doesn't always work and a lot of innocent people can get hurt along the way. But I do wish we could get an honest election - those seem to be a thing of the past after the Rossi fiasco.”

Very true. “Never waste a crisis” strategy comes into play and the liberals have a New Deal to “fix” the problem. A bad economy is an opening to have more government. However, I am always thrilled when unions lose.

24 posted on 10/28/2009 11:43:51 AM PDT by HwyChile
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To: jazusamo

Be tickled to death that it didn’t go to China or India, you smuck.


25 posted on 10/28/2009 11:45:54 AM PDT by GingisK
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To: Frenchtown Dan

Will you be driving a vehicle made by non-union labor from a Southern “right to work” state?


26 posted on 10/28/2009 11:46:07 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Aria

I know that you’re right, in that conservatives will also be negatively impacted, but something very drastic needs to be done, because our election process has been destroyed by corruption.


27 posted on 10/28/2009 11:48:46 AM PDT by Gator113 (Obamba, Reid, Pelosi, the socialist triad.)
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To: jazusamo

and don’t forget.....Winchester Rifles

Model 70s were built in New Haven, Connecticut from 1936 to 2006, when production ceased. In the fall of 2007, announcements were made that Model 70 production would resume, and,

as of 2008, new Winchester Model 70 rifles are now once more being made in Columbia, SC.


28 posted on 10/28/2009 11:52:08 AM PDT by triSranch (Live from the Birthplace and Deathbed of the Confederacy)
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To: jazusamo

and don’t forget.....Winchester Rifles

Model 70s were built in New Haven, Connecticut from 1936 to 2006, when production ceased. In the fall of 2007, announcements were made that Model 70 production would resume, and,

as of 2008, new Winchester Model 70 rifles are now once more being made in Columbia, SC.


29 posted on 10/28/2009 11:52:20 AM PDT by triSranch (Live from the Birthplace and Deathbed of the Confederacy)
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To: HwyChile

“That is the most illogical sentence I have ever read”

No it isn’t, but this one is: “That’s why all the foreign cars are made in the south”.

Foreign cars are NOT better than domestic anymore.

While more expensive doesn’t mean better, grosly cheaper generally means worse quality.

If you don’t believe that than read a little bit about the goods coming from China where the workers get a buck an hour.


30 posted on 10/28/2009 11:52:29 AM PDT by Frenchtown Dan
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To: Frenchtown Dan

The operations, like SMAR, basically drilling holes in a sheet of metal, are largely automated. The “machinists” don’t by and large spend their days running a mill or lathe and inspecting with a caliper. Don’t forget that the IAM is now a part of the greater UAW family. How’s that for a quality-conscious bunch?


31 posted on 10/28/2009 11:53:15 AM PDT by steve8714 (There's a straight line from John Wilkes Booth through Paul Robeson to Sean Penn.)
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To: jazusamo

This reminds me of a similar experiment by Fruehauf.

They went to the union in Ft. Wayne, Ind about 20 years ago and asked for a $1 per hour pay cut to keep the plant open. The line workers were making about $14 per hour at that time. The head of the union said “We were going to ask for a $2 per hour raise, but since you are in trouble, we will cut that to only $1. So we have given you what you want.”

So, Fruehauf built a new plant in Scott Cty, TN. The poorest county in the state. It had nothing but the newest machinery. They were paying the people there $7 per hour. Fruehauf expected the difference in pay to make their selling price competitive.

They were wrong. Everyone knows that new people are not as productive as experienced people, but even after 5 years, the Scott Cty plant could not get their hours down to what the Ft. Wayne plant was doing when it closed. In fact, the actual cost (not selling price) of the trailer was slightly MORE in TN than what it had been in Ft. Wayne (adjusted for inflation(.

Fruehauf eventually went bankrupt, the plant was sold, then resold, then closed down.

It will be interesting to see if that happens here.


32 posted on 10/28/2009 11:53:33 AM PDT by jim_trent
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To: jazusamo

I saw my first shrink wrapped condo building in Seattle last month.

Wonder why?


33 posted on 10/28/2009 11:54:49 AM PDT by razorback-bert (We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.)
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To: Frenchtown Dan

Foreign cars ARE better than domestic. Even Korean cars are better than most GM offerings, and all Chrysler. The reliability over time is the difference. I know noone with a Toyota ready to get rid of it before 250,000 miles. Let’s hear from all those 4-cylinder and V-6 FWD Malibu owners who’ve made it a quarter million miles on the original engine and transmission.


34 posted on 10/28/2009 12:00:01 PM PDT by steve8714 (There's a straight line from John Wilkes Booth through Paul Robeson to Sean Penn.)
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To: thackney

Of course I would buy a car made in the south. I have nothing against southern workers or goods made there.

But, trading experienced workers for cheaper non-experienced workers who will earn 1/2 as much making commercial jet liners carying over 100 passengers is scary.


35 posted on 10/28/2009 12:02:38 PM PDT by Frenchtown Dan
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To: steve8714

B.S.

I have a 1989 Chevy Astro with 316,000 miles.
I also have a 1996 Ford explorer with 272,000 miles.

And my 1968 Chevy Camaro will blow away any thing that’s ever come out of Japan or Korea.

Buy your foreign crap, I’m sticking to American.


36 posted on 10/28/2009 12:07:33 PM PDT by Frenchtown Dan
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To: steve8714

I owned a Malibu and gave it to my daughter.

It’s no longer a Chevy Malibu.

It’s a Napa-Autozone Malibu.

I’ve had to replace all the Chevy parts.

With all that work, it’s managed to make it to 160K. I visit the Malibu more often than I visit my daughter, unfortunately.


37 posted on 10/28/2009 12:09:57 PM PDT by EricT. ("Mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government." -George Washington)
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To: steve8714

Oh, yeah.

My Mazda has 180K miles and I haven’t had to do anything to it beyond a set of brakes and regular oil changes.


38 posted on 10/28/2009 12:15:51 PM PDT by EricT. ("Mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government." -George Washington)
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To: Frenchtown Dan

Boeing’s QA/QC isn’t going to be any less. And much of the difference in pay is the result of an area with lower cost of living including less taxes.

I chose my first job out of college in Houston over a higher paying job in Philadelphia because after cost of living expenses 10% more was left in my pocket.

$10 in Everett WA does not equal $10 in Charleston SC.


39 posted on 10/28/2009 12:22:51 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Frenchtown Dan
Buy your foreign crap, I’m sticking to American.

I owned an American car--made in Canada.
I now own a foreign car - made in USA.

My "foreign crap" is more American than my "American" car.
More importantly, my "foreign crap" is more reliable than my "American" car.

40 posted on 10/28/2009 12:29:13 PM PDT by TheMightyQuinn
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To: Frenchtown Dan

The era of the American auto industry ended for good when Obama stole it and gave it to the UAW.

Only a moron would ever buy an ObamaMobile.

Foreign designed cars built in the south is the only patriotic and sane option now when buying an auto.

I can’t wait for the Obama/UAW auto industry to sink beneath the waves...I want them totally bankrupt, starving in the streets for their sins against this nation.


41 posted on 10/28/2009 12:33:54 PM PDT by Bobalu (I AM JIM THOMPSON)
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To: jazusamo
Still, the average pay at Costco stores around Seattle is $17 an hour. According to PayScale, a Seattle company that tracks wages, the average for a hairstylist in Seattle is $18.24 an hour.

To the few remaining union manufacturing employees in America:
Ask not why Southern workers get paid half, ask instead why everything in the North costs twice as much.

42 posted on 10/28/2009 12:33:59 PM PDT by Pan_Yan (All gray areas are fabrications.)
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To: Noumenon

Of course, when they move the entire line to South Carolina, the pay will likely increase, because there won’t be enough workers for the line who will work for that price, and they’ll have to pay more to bring other workers down.

Will still probably be a lot less than Seattle costs, but it won’t be $14.

That’s not very much money, btw. Kings Dominion paid $10/hour for the costumed workers at their Halloween haunt, if they had experience. Of course, there were no benefits.

I presume the Boeing workers get decent benefits, so the actual cost per worker is more than $14.


43 posted on 10/28/2009 12:34:06 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Frenchtown Dan
But, trading experienced workers for cheaper non-experienced workers who will earn 1/2 as much making commercial jet liners carying over 100 passengers is scary

Actually, think about this from the Boeing company's long term perspective. The majority of their employees will or are eligible to retire soon. That means that a new production line will require "new workers" to train and new workers to replace skilled or experienced worker.

The difference to Boeing is not one of skilled workers versus unskilled workers, it is a difference of "a few" skilled workers and training mostly unskilled workers for a new line in Everett versus training mostly unskilled workers and possibly transferring a few skilled workers to a new facility in GA.

I think that it has been clear that the union has driven Boeing headquarters out of Puget Sound to Chicago, and that the Union is now driving more production out of Puget Sound to other states. I view it as really sad.

The Seattle Times had an interesting editorial on October 4, 2009 about the Governor and her "business plan" presented to Boeing to keep the second assembly line in Puget Sound. The article points out how Washington has some high tax costs compared to other states, but ultimately it is the Boeing unions that will make or break the decision. P.S. Remember that Boeing was a significant player in this States education "reform" program that tried to get schools to be more responsible for tuning out educated high school graduates. The result was that the State's approach to standardized testing of skill (the WASL)was repeatedly delayed and finally scraped by union (WEA) and the legislature. Now the Seattle School District is considering a policy of considering all "D's" as passing in high school. If that isn't enough, look at the following website http://www.gaosa.org/news.aspx?mode=detail&obj=1853 and you will see that 2/3rds of Georgia High School graduates enroll in college.

Now ask yourself who will be easier to train high school, community college and full 4-year university students in Washington or in Georgia. Which state offers lower wages? Which state offers lower taxes to Boeing?

As much as I hate to see it Boeing is leaving Puget Sound bit by bit, being driven out by the unions and government.

44 posted on 10/28/2009 12:39:06 PM PDT by Robert357 (D.Rather "Hoist with his own petard!" www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1223916/posts)
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To: TheMightyQuinn

Well, different strokes for different folks.

IMHO if it’s produced in America then it’s American, If it’s produced in a foreign country, then it’s foreign. I don’t really think the product can be labeled foreign if it’s made here, and vice-versa.

In other words, if your Chevy or Ford or Mopar was made in Mexico or Canada, to me it’s a foreign car.

All of my vehicles were manufactured in this country.


45 posted on 10/28/2009 12:40:00 PM PDT by Frenchtown Dan
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To: Robert357

It’s a crying shame, the unions are killing us, I cannot argue with that.

Good luck to the kids in the peach state.


46 posted on 10/28/2009 12:45:45 PM PDT by Frenchtown Dan
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To: All

Boeing holds emergency meeting for 787 employees

Boeing is holding an emergency meeting with Boeing employees. The meeting might be connected to the company’s expected decision about whether it will install a second 787 plant in Everett on in Charleston, S.C., the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace has confirmed.

“Our assumption is that yes, it has to do with the decision on the plant, and they’re going to notify the employees before an official announcement,” said Ray Goforth, executive director of SPEEA.

“Boeing traditionally gives us 12 to24 hours notice before any major announcement, and we have received no official notice,” he said.

Goforth said he does not know what is being said in the meeting, which he said began at 12:30 and is still ongoing.

“Everyone we’re tried to contact is in the meeting,” he said.

Sen. Patty Murray has been speaking with Boeing CEO Jim McNerney Wednesday afternoon, Murray’s office confirmed.

A source told seattlepi.com that the Boeing board might be meeting about the issue right now, and that there could be an announcement as early as this afternoon that the plant will go to South Carolina.

Update: Jon Ostrower at Flightblogger has tweeted that Charleston sources tell him there will be a mandatory managers meeting at 2 p.m. PST.

http://blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace/archives/183488.asp


47 posted on 10/28/2009 1:43:51 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: Gator113

I love Forks.

I remember one year I was going to hike the Ho, and the weather report said absolutely, guaranteed, that there would be NO rain for those three days.

Well, I’d never hiked the Ho without getting rained on, but they said it was 100% chance of sunshine, so...for the first time ever, I didn’t take any rain gear.

Sure enough, second day of the hike, it rained!

Ya’ can always make book on it raining on the peninsula. Except for Sequim!

Ed


48 posted on 10/28/2009 1:53:26 PM PDT by Sir_Ed
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To: jazusamo

1) relax restrictions that drive up the price of ... everything
2) lobby for tax cuts
3) repeat step 1


49 posted on 10/28/2009 2:19:53 PM PDT by ROTB ("By any means necessary" is evil. See what God thinks of "rising oceans" in Jeremiah 5:22)
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To: jazusamo

Send your $10 check to a senator that does.


50 posted on 10/28/2009 2:27:26 PM PDT by ROTB ("By any means necessary" is evil. See what God thinks of "rising oceans" in Jeremiah 5:22)
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