Update, Aug. 26:
Update, Aug. 25:
KING 5 TV Seattle (NBC) reported today that Boeing will file for permits tomorrow to expand the Charleston, SC, plant in anaticipation of a Line 2 for the 787–but that no decision about placing the plant there has been made. The story may be found here.
On-line newspaper Crosscut has an interesting piece about the debate over how and whether to keep Boeing in the Puget Sound region (Seattle). (Link warning: Crosscut is very slow.) The debate is heating up again because of the recent purchase by Boeing of Vought’s 787 plant in South Carolina, and the presumption by many that this is a prelude to locating a second 787 production line there.This, of course, got Puget Sound in a twitter because the fear is that if Line 2 goes elsewhere, the successor airplanes to the 737 and 777 will follow and eventually all of Boeing will leave. Fuel was added to the fire when Scott Fancher, the head of the 787 program, told the Charleston Business Journal that a decision on the location of Line 2 will be made by the end of the year (Boeing Corporate has not confirmed this timeline).
We previously wrote why Line 2 is needed sooner than later, and the recent additional delay reinforces this view. We believe locating it next to Line 1 in Everett makes the most sense, where synergies would exist and the experienced IAM and SPEEA workers can assemble the airplanes and work out problems on the spot. The question is whether the IAM, which has struck Boeing several times since the turn of the century, and Boeing management can come to some accord which will give assurances production won’t be interrupted by future strikes. This requires a major change in culture on the part of both sides.