Boeing workers say quality of 787 will suffer

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by ROB PIERCY / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @robpiercy

NWCN.com

Posted on October 28, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 29 at 9:26 AM

EVERETT, Wash. – To be a worker on the 787 line in Everett on Wednesday has to feel a little bit like the kid who wakes up Christmas morning to find out Santa gave his sister the toy he wanted.

Boeing announced Wednesday that a second 787 assembly line will be located in Charleston, S.C., not in Everett where the first line is located.

It's a decision that could have meant thousands of new jobs in Western Washington.

"We have the skill and manpower here in Everett to produce the second line and we haven't been given that chance," said Zen Jenne. He has been with Boeing for three years and works on the 787. "We see the South Carolina products that come into our factory and it's poor quality."

Worker Charlie Grieser says, over the years, Boeing has gotten greedier. He worries about the future of his Everett co-workers.

"Cheaper and cheaper and no allegiance to anybody and no allegiance to this community," said Grieser.

Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon worries, too.

"We're in a fight for our lives with other states in this country for the future of commercial aerospace," said Reardon. He also says there's bound to be finger-pointing, but what's the use?

"I urge all parties to resist that temptation as it is counterproductive and does nothing to further our objective to be the most competitive state in the country," said Reardon.

Grieser says when you point a finger, you've got three others pointing back at you.

"You can't blame us. A 60-day strike didn't cause the 787 disaster in there," said Grieser. "It's their own process."

People used to talk about getting foot in door at Boeing. Now, as one worker said, it's Boeing that has its foot in the door and looking to make an exit.
 

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