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Boeing responds to critical column

Posted: October 26, 2011 - 12:00am

Michael Wilson, national director of Americans for Democratic Action, misstates a key fact in his opinion piece on the Boeing-NLRB dispute that the Juneau Empire published on Oct. 14. Boeing has not shifted work from a union shop in Washington state to a non-union shop in South Carolina. Boeing built a new factory in South Carolina to produce three 787 airplanes per month above and beyond the seven per month it plans to produce in Everett, Wash. No work was moved, no facilities were shuttered, no workers were laid off. That is just one reason why we are confident that the NLRB allegation that Boeing “retaliated” against union members for their last strike is without merit and will not withstand judicial scrutiny.

What’s more, we did engage in talks with the union leadership representing workers at the Everett site about placing the new work there. But the range of demands it made during those discussions were a bridge too far, and we decided to create additional production capacity in South Carolina instead.

Since that decision, we’ve added thousands of jobs across both locations. In the Puget Sound area we’re increasing production rates and thus increasing employment. Over the past two years, we’ve hired more than 5,000 additional workers as union machinists to help us meet surging global demand for our airplanes. We value the highly-skilled men and women who work for us in Washington state. They are critical to our future success in the highly competitive global market for commercial airplanes.

Wilson says he wants Boeing to make its planes in the United States and employ Americans. Well, that’s exactly what we do. All of our commercial airplane assembly lines are here in the U.S.A. Boeing airplanes represent America’s biggest manufactured export. In total, our factories and offices employ more than 150,000 Americans directly and 1.2 million more who work for our U.S. suppliers. Boeing is creating jobs and investing in America at a time when both things are desperately needed. That is why we’re left scratching our head over the NLRB’s frivolous complaint against our company.

Tim Neale

Director, Communications

Boeing Public Policy

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