| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Dec 12 Boeing Co said on
Thursday it planned to eliminate up to 1,200 jobs in Washington
state and move them to other U.S. locations as it reorganizes
research and development functions.
The move will reduce Boeing's reliance on unionized
engineers in the Seattle area, and follows other steps Boeing
has made to move jobs outside the state this year.
Boeing is also entertaining proposals to place the factory
for its newest jetliner, the 777X, outside Washington in part to
avoid union conflicts. The $10 billion factory
will generate an estimated $20 billion in economic benefits over
the years to the winning state, according to one forecast.
In May Boeing said it would put design and support centers
around the country, reducing those jobs in Washington.
In October, it said it is placing significant
amounts of engineering design work for the 777X outside
On Thursday, Boeing said it plans to create
research-and-technology centers at five locations around the
country, which will add 300 to 400 jobs at each location. The
centers will employ about 4,000 total. The centers are all in
states that have proposed giving Boeing tax beaks or other
incentives to attract the factory.
Boeing said Thursday's announcement was separate from the
"The decision on where to locate the 777x is not related to
this realignment," said Tom Koehler, a Boeing spokesman.
The centers will be in Huntsville, Alabama; Southern
California; St. Louis, Missouri; North Charleston, South
Carolina; and Seattle.
The moves will be made with "a combination of layoffs,
relocations, attrition and new hiring in the growth sites,"
The reorganization will decrease the number of workers in
the Seattle area by 800 to 1,200, Koehler said.
That includes 500 to 800 workers represented by the Society
of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA).
About 300 to 500 will be non-union workers or managers, he said.
SPEEA declined to comment.
"I am disappointed," Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee said
of Boeing's plan to move the research jobs. He said the action
shows why Washington is "working so hard to ensure the 777X and
its carbon fiber wing are designed and built in our state."
Washington state last month approved $8.7 billion in tax
breaks for Boeing and the aerospace industry if it builds the
777X in the state.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced the creation of up to 400
new jobs at the same time as Boeing announced the realignment.
The jobs are in addition to 400 that Boeing had already
pledged to establish in Missouri, and will be eligible for tax
credits of up to $16.8 million over six years, the state said.
"If there are jobs created and retained, there are going to
be incentives," said Scott Holster, a spokesman for the
Also on Thursday, the machinists union met for a third day
with Boeing in Seattle in an effort to restart talks that could
bring work on Boeing's new 777X jet to Washington.
The machinists strongly rejected a labor contract offer from
Boeing that would have ensured the new 777X factory is located
in Washington state. The rejection prompted Boeing to seek bids
from more than a dozen other states.