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‘Squeeze play’ on Machinists is reality elites failed to feel (Read More…)

NOVEMBER 21, 2013
BY DANNY WESTNEAT / THE SEATTLE TIMES

SEATTLE—There was a revealing moment the other night, after the resounding “no” vote from Boeing’s Machinists, when Gov. Jay Inslee was asked if he respected the decision they’d made.

“I respect reality,” he said. “And the reality is we could have won tonight. Some folks made a vote, about two to one, where that vote did not come out the way that would allow us to win. That’s a reality.”

Who is this “us”? Because the people who build the planes didn’t feel it included them.

I’m not trying to be overly flip here. This answer from Inslee — his implication that he didn’t respect the workers for their decision — goes a long way to explaining why the rank-and-file Machinists were so put off by this entire exercise that it ended in a debacle.

After the vote I talked to or corresponded with a dozen Machinists. As might be expected, they hold widely varying opinions on the contract they were just offered (some thought it OK, some hated it), on Boeing (some love the place, some don’t trust it) and on politics (most vote Democratic, a few said they’re more conservative or don’t care). All were exasperated at their dysfunctional union leadership, for “setting us up to fail,” as one said. And they were left feeling “disrespected” — not so much by Boeing as, surprisingly, Inslee, Sen. Patty Murray and the rest of the political class in the state.

Competition to gain Boeing 777X work leads to Alabama meeting (Read More…)

By The Associated Press
November 20, 2013

HUNTSVILLE, ALA. — State and local leaders are working to lure a Boeing Co. aircraft assembly plant to the Huntsville area, which already has a heavy technological and engineering base.
Gov. Robert Bentley, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and economic developers met Tuesday in Birmingham with representatives of the aircraft manufacturer.

Battle said Huntsville is one of several cities being considered for a 777X assembly site, and Bentley said the company likes Alabama.

“They don’t need to look at any other state,” said Bentley. “Alabama is the state they need to look at most.”
Boeing said it would consider a new location to build the airplane after union members rejected a proposed contract in Seattle last week.

A gubernatorial aide in Washington state has said that state will likely get competition from places including Alabama, where unions have less of a foothold.

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