Inslee: 49 Governors Will Call Boeing if Wash. Loses Deal

Nov 8, 2013

Washington state has everything to lose with its aerospace industry and therefore must move fast to appease Boeing, said Gov. Jay Inslee during a news conference Friday morning.

“We have been fortunate like few other states, communities on the planet in having a vigorous aerospace industry here. There are 49 governors that will be calling Boeing if, in fact, this deal doesn’t go through,” Inslee said.

Therefore, it’s the lawmakers’ duty to advance policy even as machinists mull whether to accept Boeing’s latest deal to keep 777x assembly work in the Puget Sound area, the governor said.

“There’s an offer on the table. This is a proposed agreement between the machinists and the company. They will be the drivers of that destiny,” he said.

The governor called a special session earlier in response to Boeing’s offer. Inslee called on state lawmakers to extend tax breaks and pass a transportation bill.

Machinists have not yet voted on the proposal, but many have expressed their dissatisfaction. Dozens of machinists marched at Boeing’s Everett plant Friday morning to protest the offer, which they say digs into their pension and health care.

Inslee said Friday that there have been productive meetings between Republican and Democratic transportation leaders, though he acknowledged that a deal might not come together within the week timeframe he had asked for when he first called a special session earlier this week.

He said another meeting on the transportation plan is set for Saturday, the same day a package of aerospace incentives are expected to be voted on by the House and Senate.

"We are all on the same plane here. We are all on the same Boeing plane and we need to land it so that we can get to work wherever we work in the state of Washington," Inslee said. 

Earlier Friday, the House Finance Committee approved a measure that would extend tax breaks for Boeing Co. if key manufacturing work of the new 777X remains in Washington state.

The extended tax breaks are valued at about $9 billion, according to state estimates.