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Exclusive:Back In Alabama, Gov. Bentley On His Airbus Europe Trip
Governor Robert Bentley is back in Alabama after spending about a week with Airbus in Europe.
Bentley was in London working with the European aircraft company who just announced its building a $600 million plant in Mobile.
CBS-8 had an exclusive interview with Governor Bentley about his trip.
Governor Bentley said he was "very tired," but the trip was "all work" and well worth it. Bentley said bringing Airbus to Alabama is a big win for his administration, but an even bigger win for the state.
The Governor started his travelled almost 6,000 miles from Montgomery to Hamburg and Stuttgart, Germany, to see the Airbus and Mercedes Benz plants, then he continued to London for the Farnborough International Air Show.
At the air show the Governor met with two dozen companies, conducted interviews and delivered speeches to help convince other international businesses to follow Airbus's footsteps.
The Governor says it was important to create the international relations to help further the impact America's first Airbus plant will make on Alabama. Currently, Bentley says the Mobile plant will create 3,185 construction jobs to build Airbus, and will employ another 1,000 people at the plant. Not to mention the jobs created by suppliers that come to Alabama, and Bentley said they "will come".
"When you have good people that work at a plant and make good products, take pride in what they do, that company is going to succeed and profit," Bentley said he told Airbus in London.
"Just like Mercedes said that Tuscaloosa, Alabama is their best plant, in the near future Airbus is going to be saying the best plant we have in the world is going to be in Mobile, Alabama," he said.
In order to get Airbus to Alabama, Gov. Bentley said the state had to spend money to make money. The state is giving Airbus a package of cash, tax breaks and other incentives worth about $158 million.
"Someone from England came up to me last night, he said he had never seen a team like the Alabama team," Bentley said, "He said its just amazing how you do it in Alabama and how you work together."
Being that Alabama is a right-to-work-state, workers are not forced to join unions, and there is some concern about unionizing the entire Airbus plant. One of the largest labor unions in America, The International Association of Machinists has plans to organize Mobile's Airbus plant.
However, Governor Robert Bentley says he does not think the Airbus plant in Mobile will have a union. "I dont feel it's necessary," he said.
Construction on the plant is set to start next year... with production scheduled to begin in 2016. The plant is expected to be at full capacity, turning out one airplane once a week by 2018.
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