Mon, Feb 16, 2009
5,000 Long Beach Workers Heave A Collective Sigh
Boeing Company officials recently announced the receipt of a
nearly $3 billion contract from the US Air Force, awarded to build
15 more C-17 Globemaster IIIs.
The Long Beach, CA Press-Telegram said the $2.95 billion order
was approved by Congress and President Bush in June. Eagerly
anticipated by the community of Long Beach, the award is great news
for more than 5,000 workers at Boeing's Long Beach Plant, the
city's largest private employer.
A statement from Boeing said, "Fulfilling this critical airlift
need for the Air Force will keep C-17s moving down our production
line until at least August 2010, even as we complete existing
orders from the Air Force and our international customers. We will
continue to work with Congress and the US Air Force to provide an
affordable option for meeting current and future airlift
The Long Beach Plant has faced an uncertain fate, at one point
expecting to see the last C-17 come down the assembly line sometime
this summer. But the new contract breathes life into the production
line, and extends worker's hopes that Boeing will win more
contracts before production winds down again.
Boeing has aggressively sought foreign C-17 contracts,
successfully with Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. The nation
of Qatar recently signed a purchase agreement for two C-17s, and
NATO has ordered three Globemaster III jets with the cost to be
shared between 10 NATO countries plus Sweden and Finland.
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