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Boeing employs more than 170,000 people in the U.S. and in 70 countries. The company has a large aerospace manufacturing plant in Everett, Wash.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KTVI-TV)– The Missouri Senate advanced an economic development plan to attract a Boeing 777X jetliner production plant to St. Louis on Wednesday.

777xSupporters won a super majority with a 23-8 vote and suspended the rules to give final approval to the incentives.  The bill now goes to the Missouri House of Representatives.

The sponsor, Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, praised the bipartisan effort.  “I`m proud of the work; I think we were deliberative, and I think we worked together.”

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon called lawmakers back to Jefferson City on Monday to create an incentive program to help bring the Boeing business to the state.  He limited discussion to four existing economic development programs that have enjoyed some success.

Nixon also put a $150 million-a-year cap on the tax benefits — which would amount to $1.7 billion over 20 years.

The Washington Legislature approved incentives for Boeing that would amount to $8.7 billion.

Missouri senators added several amendments to insure Boeing reports its efforts to attract minority and women workers and to be sure the business produces more than a 1-to-1 return on investment.  “That is part of the reason why you saw a lot of consensus here.  People were comfortable with those protections,” explained Schmitt after the bill won approval on the Senate floor.

Critics had warned the incentives might drain too much from the state resources.  Schmitt disagreed.  “In my view this is a way of adding more taxpayers to the rolls; they decide how to spend their money, and it is good for everybody,” he said.

The House Economic Development Committee will take up the measure Thursday at noon.  Committee Chairwoman State Rep. Anne Zerr said the entire House could begin debating the bill as soon as Friday morning depending on when the House Speaker called everyone back to work.

The state has until 5 p.m. Tuesday to complete its proposal and application for the Boeing plant.  If House members amend the Senate bill it will have to go back to the Senate for another vote.

Zerr pointed out labor has built a good working relationship with Boeing in St. Louis.  In 2010 members of the Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers approved the elimination of a defined-benefit pension for new hires at the St. Louis Boeing plant starting in 2012.  That was one contract provision the Seattle-based Boeing union members turned down, thereby opening up competition for a new facility to other states.

Zerr described the proposed subsidy as “good for the region and good for the state.”

“Labor knows if a business is successful they will have a job,” she added.

On Tuesday, three construction unions promised to have their members work 24 hours a day to build a factory, without any built-in overtime costs.



JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Legislature opened a special session Monday with only one item on the agenda — to enact up to $150 million a year in tax breaks to try to get Boeing to build its planned 777X in the state.


Boeing 777X

Gov. Jay Nixon last week called the Legislature into a special session that began late Monday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Nixon met with Republican House members beforehand who wanted to hear details about the costs and expected return for taxpayers if Boeing is offered the incentives package.

A Senate committee hearing on the bill is scheduled Tuesday, it said.

Boeing sent requests for proposals to a reported 12 to 15 states about building its newest commercial jet near Seattle. Many of those states are likely to offer lucrative incentive packages.  According to the Post-Dispatch, Nixon said that states’ responses are due Dec. 10.





Boeing 777X

ST LOUIS – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced Friday he is calling the Legislature into a special session beginning Monday to enact legislation that would allow the state to bid for the production of Boeing’s planned 777X.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch  website,, said Nixon would seek up to $150 million in annual tax breaks and other incentives to try to lure Boeing to build its plant in north St. Louis County.

“Building this next-generation commercial aircraft in Missouri would create thousands of jobs across our state and secure our position as a hub for advanced aerospace manufacturing,” Nixon said in a written statement announcing the special session. “ . . . I am committed to competing for and winning this project.”

The special session will begin at 4 p.m. Monday, the Post-Dispatch said.

Boeing already employs about 15,000 in Missouri, the news site said.

Nixon said in his message that Boeing has set a Dec. 10 deadline to accept states’ bids for the plant. That effectively means the Legislature would have to get it done next week, the news site said.

OLYMPIA — As Boeing shops for other states as potential sites for the 777X production, some lawmakers argue it’s time for Washington to become a right-to-work state to keep the company from leaving and to preserve other industrial jobs.  But labor is already fighting back against the effort.

“We know today that we’re at risk of losing these fantastic, high-paying jobs because Washington state is not right-to-work,” said state Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane.  “What did Governor Perry tweet?  Texas:  low taxes, right to work, come on down.”


State Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane

Half the states in the country are “right-to-work” states, where employees are not required to join unions or pay dues.  Supporters argue that companies like doing business in those places because the fewer the union workers, the less they will have to pay workers, and the less likelihood of strikes.

Baumgartner wants Gov. Jay Inslee to call a special session of the Legislature right away to act on right-to-work.  That, he argues, will help save Boeing jobs here in Washington.  “It’s not about being anti-union,” he said.  “It’s about being pro-choice and pro-freedom.”

Right-to-work sounds simple enough, but the politics certainly aren’t.  One person’s right-to-work law is another’s union buster.

“That solidarity is what keeps labor together and keeps wages high,” said state Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle.  “This is essentially a right to starve.  This is a right to work for whatever the company is willing to pay.  It involves a race to the bottom, and if we go down this path I think we would be doing a major disservice to working people.”

Baumgartner recognizes that right-to-work is an uphill battle in a state with a Democratic governor and a Democratically controlled House, both closely allied with organized labor.  But he says he’s prepared to take the issue directly to the people with a ballot measure if Olympia doesn’t act.

“It’s a very simple concept,” he said.  “The people should have an optional choice, the personal freedom, to decide whether to join a labor organization just in order to pursue a job that can put food on the family’s table.”

Though Inslee is doing all he can to make sure Washington state lands the Boeing 777X, he has so far shown no interest in right-to-work legislation.

Baumgartner is looking at a potential ballot measure in 2015 if legislators don’t act.

SEATTLE — Seattle’s newest City Council member is already making waves even before taking office.

At a Machinists rally Monday night in Westlake Park, Kshama Sawant minced no words when it came to Boeing’s management.

“We salute the Machinists for having the courage to reject this blatant highway robbery from the executives of Boeing in pursuit of their endless, endless thirst for private profit,” Sawant said.

sawantBut Boeing wasn’t Sawant’s only target.  She also took aim at both Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Olympia for approving the historic $9 billion tax-break package to try to guarantee the 777X would be built in the state.

“We have to condemn the state Legislature for capitulating yet again,” she said.  “Yet again.”

It doesn’t seem that Sawant has plans to tone down her rhetoric to fit in to Seattle’s nine-member City Council.  Nor is she worried about getting along with Olympia, which, it should be pointed out, controls a lot of purse strings for Seattle.  Indeed, the big question when it comes to Sawant is whether she will be willing to compromise with her colleagues, or whether her socialism will make her a permanent outsider.

The $15 minimum wage idea for Seattle will be the first big test of her style.  She’s pushing for it hard.  Mayor-elect Ed Murray says he supports the idea, but wants to phase it in and work with all parties – labor, business, and others – to find a plan they can all agree on.  He doesn’t want a divisive ballot measure such as that occurring in SeaTac.

Sawant, however, doesn’t seem ready to give him much slack.

“We are fed up with empty election-year promises,” Sawant said.  “We want action, and we want $15 an hour in 2014.”

Will she participate in minimum wage negotiations, or go straight to the people with a ballot measure?

Everyone is watching.


Boeing 777X

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Boeing projects that airlines in the Middle East will need nearly 100,000 new pilots and technicians to support the expanding demand for new airplane deliveries over the next two decades.

At the Dubai Air Show this week, Boeing released the regional projections of the 2013 Pilot and Technician Outlook — a respected industry forecast of aviation personnel.  With the aviation industry in the Middle East growing faster than the world average, the Boeing outlook predicts the region will require 40,000 pilots and 53,100 technicians over the next 20 years.

For the Middle East region an average of 2,000 new pilots and more than 2,600 new airline technicians will be needed each year to meet the expected demand.

Projected demand for new pilots and technicians by global region:

  • Asia Pacific – 192,300 pilots and 215,300 technicians
  • Europe – 99,700 pilots and 108,200 technicians
  • North America – 85,700 pilots and 97,900 technicians
  • Latin America – 48,600 pilots and 47,600 technicians
  • Middle East – 40,000 pilots and 53,100 technicians
  • Africa – 16,500 pilots and 15,900 technicians
  • Russia and CIS – 15,200 pilots and 18,000 technicians