August 29, 2014

Boeing will close Wichita plant

Boeing Company will close its defense, space and security facility in Wichita, company officials announced today.

The company, which currently employs more than 2,160 in Wichita, will shutter its Wichita facility by the end of 2013.  Researchers at Wichita State estimate the plant’s closing will result in more than $1.5 billion in wages over the next decade.

Mark Bass, vice president and general manager of the Boeing Defense, Space & Security Maintenance Division, said the decision was based on a thorough study of current and future needs.

“We recognize how this will affect the lives of the highly skilled men and women who work here, so we will do everything possible to assist our employees, their families and our community through this difficult transition,” Bass said.

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said he was outraged by the announcement. The company, he explained, is refusing to honor its commitment to the people of Kansas.

Kansas Congressional leaders were instrumental in helping Boeing win a contract for tankers. The company said the contract would add as many as 7,500 jobs for the state.

“It is hard to believe that conditions would have changed so rapidly over the past few months to bring about the decision to not only move the tanker finishing work elsewhere, but to also close down the entire facility,” Moran said.

Joan Wagnon, Kansas Democratic Party Chair, said throwing money at ” wealthy corporations to attract or retain jobs doesn’t guarantee loyalty or longevity.”

Boeing announced its intention to study shuttering its Wichita facility six weeks ago. Since then, a variety of state leaders have requested meetings with Boeing officials.

“Boeing’s senior leadership chose not to meet with local Wichita officials or even give them a serious opportunity to work together on a different plan for the future. I am astonished Boeing would make such a hasty decision without considering all of the alternatives or the significant impact this decision will have,” Moran said.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., also expressed his disappointment in the company’s decision.

“No lawmaker can compel a private company’s economic decisions, although Gov. Brownback and the congressional delegation together have made the best arguments possible for Wichita,” Roberts said. “While it would be easy for me to react to this very unfortunate decision with anger and resentment that won’t save a single job.”

It’s a sad day for Kansas, Wagnon said.

“Despite all the economic incentives and tax breaks, of which there were many, and despite the loyalty of Boeing’s workers and its long history in Kansas, Boeing turned its back on a community and a state that supported the corporation generously through tough times,” she said.

– Danedri Thompson

Comments

  1. Judith Rogers says:

    The thieves are moving on to greener pastures……………..tells you again where the taxpayers fit into cronyism government…………they are merely the ATM machine to keep the worthless politicians, bureaucrats and thieves’ pockets lined and keep them in the style to which they are accustomed ………….Roberts, Moran, Brownback and all of the other bloodsuckers evidently couldn’t come up with the deal that Boeing was demanding (you honestly think Brownback wanted to be governor for that salary of low $100,000s and the same applies to Moran, Roberts and a whole bunch of the other SO-CALLED representatives?)………….are people learning a lesson from this example?????? Go along with the campaign finance crud and more that these lowlifes have brought about and you will continue to pay big bucks for the knife in the back……….along with lower wages, loss of benefits, loss of jobs, etc., etc. In the long run, you get what you support.

  2. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    One might question the assertion that “throwing money at wealthy corporations to attract or retain jobs doesn’t guarantee loyalty or longevity.”

    Even if Boeing does indeed close its Wichita plant in 2013, it will have been building aircraft in Wichita for 71 years, beginning with the B-29 Superfortress bomber in 1942. No one was complaining about loyalty and longevity during the many years that Boeing was Wichita’s largest employer.

    But, of course, nothing lasts forever. Just ask George Burns.

  3. Judith Rogers says:

    No loyalty among thieves and also worthless politicians – that is for sure and the proof is in the pudding!!!! I am now waiting for Coleman to skip out to Colorado………..it is just a matter of time……Wichita and Sedgwick County have been corrupt political havens for years and years and Johnson County is quickly or has quickly caught up with them…………so many halls of shame need to be fumigated so there is not one rat or cockroach left standing but that would call for the people to do their jobs and I don’t see that happening because so many are morally corrupt themselves and enable and support the wrongdoers. A high price will be paid in my opinion.

  4. State of Affairs says:

    Yes–no loyalty. No ethics.

  5. Fiscal responsibility, then? says:

    It’s hilarious, that Judith rails all the time about how badly people spend money. Governments, individuals, businesses…none are safe from her evil eye routine. But let a company make a decision that makes sense to their finances, that shows some level of fiscal responsibility, and look out! Hypocrisy abounds!

    Also, you would think that, since Boeing in Wichita sends most of its completed airplane parts by rail to headquarters in Chicago, and that at least some of those shipments pass through Gardner, Judith would be HAPPY about the reduction in rail traffic and the money that BNSF will be losing due to the reduction in rail shipping. Ah, but THAT doesn’t fit any of the tortured narratives she pushes onto us.

  6. Judith Rogers says:

    I’m thinking more about those 2,160 employees whose jobs are in jeopardy and all of the family members and their lives behind those jobs. I think about all of the citizens across the state of Kansas who gave tax dollar after tax dollar to support Boeing in the form of handouts of all kinds and once again, I say I want no part of the blackmail and bribes that goes along with cronyism government. All of that plus the slimy election campaign finance that is in effect across the nation that builds a foundation for corruption and blood sucking from all citizens. If you think for one minute I worry about those big corporations, especially BNSF, who along with the lowlife politicians and bureaucrats, have financially raped the average citizen for years, then you have another think coming. These companies are only worried about fiscal responsibility OF THEIR CHECKING AND SAVINGS ACCOUNTS and certainly not of the working man and woman.

    P.S. I am not pushing any narrative on anybody – no one is forced to read my comments, especially people such as yourself who belongs to the money, greed and selfish crowd.

  7. Fiscal responsibility, then? says:

    And yet, you didn’t mind when Larry Fotovich got elected on promises of raiding the health insurance benefits of city employees.

    So what you’re saying is that you’re all for it when YOUR cronies are making financial moves that hurt people, but against it when it…what…convenient?

    And not pushing your narrative? Could you TELL a bigger lie than that? All you DO is push your narrative and people who want to post and read comments from Gardner citizens have to slog through your mile-long rants to find something NOT written by you…or responded by other to your posts. Paper the walls with your comments and people pretty much have to see them. That’s pretty pushy, isn’t it?

  8. Judith Rogers says:

    Oh, how it upsets those to have numerous viewpoints or opinions out there for all to see and even more so when the poster takes ownership of their comments, much unlike the whiners who are too cowardly to do so.

    I haven’t seen any changes to the city employee health beneifits……..is there something I missed??? I haven’t seen the Dictator put anything about that issue on any recent Council agendas……….that issue where the City Hall Bunch have not got any competitive bids for 22 YEARS will continue to be put on the back burner I am sure and the special interests will be protected but not the citizens at large – just how cronyism government works!

    I am sure citizens can very quickly see the name Judith Rogers and run right past her comments with no problem to them whatsoever………..as usual, Fiscal Responsibility, you deal in excuses and not solid reasons and/or facts. Yawn……………..

  9. Hypocrite, Judith. Why not take responsibility for THOSE posts. Or the other ones you post anonymously here, for that matter.

    You still supported Fotovich hurting the city workers. That’s hypocritical of you, too.

  10. To the snob@@Panda says:

    How on earth would a health savings account hurt city employees? You are aware that it is STILL insurance and STILL covers you when you need it. What, are YOU and city employees to good for this type of insurance? A lot of people have this same type of insurance for one reason or another. I wonder if they are whining about it like you? I bet a lot of people who have lost their jobs and are paying sky-high COBRA rates would feel differently about this type of insurance. When you talk about hurting city employees, maybe you are referring to the employees of the city’s planning department that lost their jobs well before the last city council election.

  11. Um…HSA’s are NOT the same thing as health insurance. An HSA may be applied with a high-deductible health insurance plan, but they’re not the same thing.

    My point…and I’ll type slowly so you can follow it…is that:

    a. Fotovich ran his entire election campaign based on the single idea that he could save the city a few hundred thousand dollars by changing the current insurance coverage of city employees to HSA’s that may (or may not) have reduced their overall coverage and/or cost them more money, out-of-pocket.

    I’m not even saying that the city didn’t need to take some action to reduce insurance costs. In my opinion, the city probably needed to re-evaluate its insurance benefits for a long time.

    Maybe Fotovich’s plan would turn out just the same for city employees, maybe not. It kinda sounded like, city employees would end up less well-off. Are you offering some kind of proof that they were going to benefit from Fotovich’s proposed cuts? Cough it up, if you’ve got it.

    b. Given that city employees would, from what I’ve seen of Fotovich’s plan, have ended up doing worse than they were without it, it seems hypocritical for Judith to be throwing hissy fits over some company making tough financial decisions that negatively affect employees when she was all FOR Fotovich raiding employee benefits so that he could get himself elected in Gardner.

    Is that clear enough for you? I’m not sure I can type much slower…

  12. State of Affairs says:

    How will Boeing save? They are leaving a right-to-work State of Kansas to a major union Washington State.

  13. city of Gardner jobs sound pretty good. You do you have to sell your soul to in this town to get one of those?

  14. city of Gardner jobs sound pretty good. Who do you have to sell your soul to in this town to get one of those?

  15. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    From the Puget Sound Business Journal, 1-04-2012 :

    Washington state will pick up extra work, following the announcement by The Boeing Co. that it will close its Wichita, Kan., facility in 2013.

    In particular, completion of Boeing’s 767-based Air Force tankers will be moved to the Puget Sound area, instead of being completed at the Boeing Defense, Space and Security (BDS) facility in Wichita.

    In a Jan. 4 statement, Boeing said the decision was driven by falling defense procurements that had whittled away at the work base for the site.

    “In this time of defense budget reductions, as well as shifting customer priorities, Boeing has decided to close its operations in Wichita to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and drive competitiveness,” said Mark Bass, vice president and general manager for the BDS Maintenance, Modifications & Upgrades division, in the statement.

    He added, “The decision to close our Wichita facility was difficult but ultimately was based on a thorough study of the current and future market environment and our ability to remain competitive while meeting our customers’ needs with the best and most affordable solutions.”

    This does not impact the manufacturing of Boeing 737 fuselages at the Spirit Aerosystems plant there, nor Boeing’s acquisitions from Kansas suppliers.

    Other aircraft maintenance and support work, such as for B-52 bombers, will be moved to Boeing’s facility in San Antonio, Texas.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2012/01/04/boeing-will-close-wichita-facility-in.html

  16. Judith Rogers says:

    I don’t recall ever saying I was for any plan that would be “raiding employee benefits” but, of course, the no namers always dream up whatever they want to discredit people who are concerned with an administration that has not even got competitive employee health insurance bids for 22 YEARS. I worked my entire life so I know the importance of employee benefits but I also recognize the responsibility of ALL to keep costs down, especially now when there are money problems across the nation and the immediate future doesn’t promise any great improvement. And I don’t think it was hard or troublesome for Boeing “making tough financial decisions” – what a joke – they went elsewhere because it was financially beneficial for them to do so or they wouldn’t have gone – how stupid do you think people are???? Boeing is making money hand over fist and want to make more and they just thumbed their noses at the hardworking people of the state of Kansas just like all of the thieves will do along with their worthless politicians and bureaucrats who are around to take care of them. Trickle down economics does NOT work for the average citizen – it is a myth that the thieves and their lowlife politicians came up with to get what they want and that is for the people to pay the bills and the special interests to get richer by the day because of all of the sweet deals provided to them. Cronyism government will break the back of this country in my opinion.

    P.S. Evidently you can’t type slow enough to type your own name but, of course, cowards never do.

  17. Discredit says:

    Judith, your words and actions do all the discrediting of your opinions that needs done. Unlike you, I don’t NEED to discredit a person to make a point and debate the logic behind it. It says a LOT about the wildly illogical positions you always seem to take that the best rebuttal you have is to attack me, instead of the points I make. That’s the difference between what I post and what you do. And that truth stands, no matter how fast or slow I type it.

    Your ongoing backing of Larry Fotovich says all you need to say about the only independent idea he brought into the campaign that got him elected: cutting insurance costs and (quite likely) overall benefits for city employees. You’ve argued in support for that position in the past. Don’t try to duck it now.

    And once again, you bring out your hypocrisy in judging Boeing’s finances and financial decisions against comparable tough financial decisions that Fotovich supported. The reason I challenged you on this issue is because you were decrying the 2100+ employees in Wichita affected by Boeing’s decision while at the same time, you’ve been a historic supporter that would negatively affect Gardner employees.

    I know it’s too much to expect that you’ll acknowledge that you only feel sorry for employees when it suits your purposes…maybe…I dont’ know…your sense of outrage?…but when it comes to standing up for employees who work for Gardner, you just can’t seem to work up any tears for them because of your longstanding grudge against all things Gardner. But at least, we can see documented just how duplicitous your attitudes are.

  18. Hand over feet says:

    And while we’re at it, Judith, it’s nice of you to decide that Boeing’s finances are meaningless because you deem they’re making too much money and that they should keep a monstrously huge facility in Wichita open, just to keep jobs for the 2100 employees working there. For someone who claims to know so much about finances, you seem to not understand the huge overhead costs involved in the work they’re doing there.

    Of course, if they’d kept the Wichita facilities open, I’d bet that you’d turn around and blame them for the high cost of plane tickets, too. And THEN blame them for the train traffic that comes from Boeing Wichita and passes through Gardner.

  19. State of Affairs says:

    Send the jobs to Washington State. The illegal Chinese live there and don’t pay taxes.

  20. @State of Affairs says:

    Remember, tomorrow is ‘Hug a Dumbass Day’. So, don’t freak out like you did last year. Nobody is going to hurt you.

  21. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    @ State of Affairs: The Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research institute based in Washington, DC, estimated in 2009 that there were approximately 8,740,000 undocumented (“illegal”) immigrants from Mexico, Central America and South America living in the United States.

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimated in 2009 that the total unauthorized (“illegal”) Chinese immigrant population of the United States was 120,000, or about 1/73rd the Hispanic problem.

    The 2010 population of King County WA, the home of several Boeing plants, was 1,858,788. The population of Seattle, King County’s largest city, was 4.1% Chinese. Correspondingly, I would guess King County’s total 2010 Chinese population was approximately 76,210.

    It was also estimated in 2009 that 2.03% of Washington State’s total population were unauthorized (“illegal”) immigrants. Thus, I figure that King County had about 1,547 “illegal” Chinese residents. For the sake of argument, I would say those of working age probably would not exceed 2/3, or about 1,031. I would also venture to guess that the vast majority of those 1,031 “illegals” have never been employed at a Boeing plant, although a couple may have taken a tour of a Boeing facility.

    Washington, like six other states, has no state income tax. However, every state government collects taxes one way or another just to be able to function. Generally, states with no income tax impose higher rates on other things, like property taxes or sales taxes. I could find no data concerning how many of those 1,031 “illegal” Chinese workers paid absolutely no taxes, so I will just concede that point to you.

    http://roygermano.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/how-many-illegal-immigrants-live-in-the-united-states-and-where-do-they-come-from/
    http://www.statemaster.com/country/WA-washington/peo-people
    http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/ois_ill_pe_2009.pdf

  22. Judith Rogers says:

    The no-namer cowards are still among us and always will be………….their comments are worthless since they will not stand for them or take ownership of them…………….

  23. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    State of Affairs: The Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research institute based in Washington, DC, estimated in 2009 that there were approximately 8,740,000 undocumented (“illegal”) immigrants from Mexico, Central America and South America living in the United States.

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimated in 2009 that the total unauthorized (“illegal”) Chinese immigrant population of the United States was 120,000, or about 1/73rd the Hispanic problem.

    The 2010 population of King County WA, the home of several Boeing plants, was 1,858,788. The population of Seattle, King County’s largest city, was 4.1% Chinese. Correspondingly, I would guess King County’s total 2010 Chinese population was approximately 76,210.

    It was also estimated in 2009 that 2.03% of Washington State’s total population were unauthorized (“illegal”) immigrants. Thus, I figure that King County had about 1,547 “illegal” Chinese residents. For the sake of argument, I would say those of working age probably would not exceed 2/3, or about 1,031. I would also venture to guess that the vast majority of those 1,031 “illegals” have never been employed at a Boeing plant, although a couple may have taken a tour of a Boeing facility.

    Washington, like six other states, has no state income tax. However, every state government collects taxes one way or another just to be able to function. Generally, states with no income tax impose higher rates on other things, like property taxes or sales taxes. I could find no data concerning how many of those 1,031 “illegal” Chinese workers paid absolutely no taxes, so I will just concede that point to you.

  24. Judith Rogers says:

    Illegal immigrants, regardless of where they come from, are here in our country because we have allowed them to be here, because employers want the cheap labor to increase their profits, the people want to pay less for the services and/or goods created from the cheap labor and mainly because we do not enforce the laws that we have on the books and because our borders are wide open in many instances. We have no one but ourselves to blame for the illegal immigration problems that we have and we have to look no further than looking in the mirror to find the source of many of the problems – that is my opinion. Citizens are not doing their jobs and many times are going along with the wrongdoing in one way or the other.

  25. @Judith Rogers says:

    Thank you for your enlightened post. That makes perfect sense.

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