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If he was ‘Czar Inslee’ he would have handled Boeing differently

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks about the upcoming legislative session, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the AP Legislative Preview in Olympia, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

We know that politicians are ambitious, but Governor Jay Inslee dropped a bombshell at the end of Thursday’s legislative preview in Olympia.

“When I am Czar, we will have a 50-state compact that makes it illegal to play states against each other for these incentive packages,” said Inslee.”

He was referring to Boeing’s strategy of playing states against each other for the bid on the 777X.

There is no provision in the constitution to endow the governor with the absolute powers of a Russia potentate. But in the meantime, the powers he has will have to suffice.

He assured reporters the new Boeing agreement won’t have the glaring loophole that the old Boeing agreement had.

“There was an escape hatch for management that allowed them to open a second line in South Carolina. We closed that escape hatch and clanged it shut, it’s not going to happen here,” he said.

The governor also argued for better pay for state employees because their pay scale has been eroding and the state is losing good workers, which brought up a question that Boeing machinists have also asked.

“Why is the erosion of compensation packages of public employees not acceptable if the erosion of compensation packages for Boeing employees was acceptable?” asked one reporter.

“I’m not saying that it is acceptable because this is a decision by the machinists, for the machinists, of the machinists,” responded Inslee. “It was not a decision by the state legislature. It was not a decision by me. I did not even voice an opinion. This is an idea that originated in the City of Chicago. [The Chicago] management decided they wanted to reduce the cost structure of their airplanes because they wanted to be competitive and the machinists decided their destiny. And it was a very difficult position. I wish they had not been in that position, but it was a reality.

“Next question.”

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