LONG BEACH, Calif.---Rain pushing through the area early today caused Boeing technical workers to reschedule a "Save our Jobs'' rally.
The rally is now set for 11:30 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 6, at the Veterans' Memorial, outside Building 802 near the corner of Lakewood Boulevard and Carson Street in Long Beach. The media is again invited to attend. Officials apologized for the inconvenience.
Staged by the Southern California Professional Engineering Association, the event is part of a campaign to show Boeing that employees here are not giving up on building the midrange 717 jetliner. In addition to the rally, union members started a mailing campaign to seek support from city, state, Congressional leaders and President George W. Bush.
Boeing plans to make a decision on the future of the aircraft by the end of the year. The 100-seat 717 is the last commercial airplane originally designed and built by the former McDonnell Douglas Company.
Boeing has said the 717 program is under review. Days after the announcement early this month Boeing received an order for 20 new aircraft.
Union leaders said Boeing appears to be positioning to end the 717 and cut thousands of jobs in Southern California. The move would free the Company to move ahead with plans to develop a similar midrange jetliner with Russia's Sukhoi and Ilyushin aircraft companies. Boeing entered an agreement with the two Russian firms last spring. Boeing said this new "717'' has a world market that could exceed 3,000 aircraft.
Boeing already operates a Design Center near Moscow and employs 600 technical workers there. While Boeing is cutting 30,000 employees in the United States, no layoffs have been announced for the Moscow facility.
"At this critical time, we need to protect jobs in Southern California and protect jobs in this country,'' said Steve Dunham, president of SCPEA. "Trading away American jobs for the possibility of receiving some airplane orders sometime in the future does nothing to help American workers or the U.S. economy.''
SCPEA represents 4,000 engineers and technical workers at Boeing's Long Beach and Huntington Beach factories.
Rain Causes Boeing Workers to Reschedule 'Save Our Jobs' Rally