(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – After a year of negotiation, Boeing has announced it will sell its Spokane plant to the Triumph Group, an aircraft components manufacturer. The announcement was a relief to the hundreds of local families whose livelihoods depend on the jobs. Last year, it was unclear whether Boeing would simply close the plant.
Rather than allowing the plant to be shut down, or making idle threats to Boeing, Sen. Murray went to work to persuade Boeing to maintain the facility and the hundreds of jobs it represents. If Boeing could no longer use the facility, she implored, then a buyer must be found to keep the plant running and the jobs in Spokane.
On Tuesday, November 20, 2001, Senator Patty Murray engineered a meeting with Boeing Commercial Airplane CEO Alan Mulally, other Company executives, Union leaders, local Spokane elected officials (including the Mayor and City Council President) and business leaders to discuss the future of this facility.
At the meeting, Murray stressed the efficiency, profitability and skills at the plant, reminding the company that this isn't just about profits, but it is about real people, who would be severely impacted by the company's decision.
She also had numerous phone conversations with Boeing throughout the year to personally advocate for the facility and its workers.
Following the announcement, Sen. Murray released the following statement.
"After 18 months of hard work and serious discussions among Boeing workers, Spokane leaders and Boeing management, we've achieved an agreement that will keep the doors open and keep 400 good jobs here in Spokane. I congratulate Boeing, the Spokane team and Triumph on creating a situation in which everyone, including the community, gains. This is a very positive step toward a bright future.
I am proud to have played a constructive role in this process, and continue to believe that by working together, we can accomplish great things for Spokane and for Washington state."