WASHINGTON -- Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids ripped Boeing Wednesday for the more than $60 million it will pay its fired CEO while Kansas aviation workers lose their jobs because of the grounding of the company's 737 Max airliner for safety issues.
Davids, D-Kansas, is a member of the House Transportation Committee, which has been investigating Boeing since last year after two deadly crashes caused the deaths of 346 people.
Boeing's uncertain future prompted Wichita-based Spirit AeroSystems, the city's largest employer which manufactures parts for Boeing, to announce 2,800 layoffs.
In an interview, Davids noted that the layoffs came the same day it was reported that fired Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg would receive $62.2 million in stock and pension benefits.
She said it was "completely unacceptable for him to be walking away with 60-plus million dollars when 2,800 families and an entire community, and really the economy of the state of Kansas, is being impacted."
The congressional investigation into Boeing uncovered internal messages revealing that employees concealed problems with the aircraft from the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA is conducting its own review of the crashes and Boeing 737 Max line has been grounded indefinitely.
Davids called Muilenburg's compensation "a golden parachute" and said 2,800 people in Wichita have "to live with the effects of the decisions he's responsible for."
A Boeing spokesman, reiterating what the company said last week, said that Muilenburg "received the benefits to which he was contractually entitled and he did not receive any severance pay or a 2019 annual bonus."
The Boeing board has approved a $1.4 million base salary for Muilenburg's successor, David Calhoun.
"The Board is confident Dave is the right leader to strengthen Boeing's safety culture, improve transparency and rebuild trust ... Long term incentives will be tied to business outcomes enabled by improved safety and the Board is also adding enhanced claw-back provisions that will sharpen our focus on safety and apply to situations of misconduct that compromise safety," spokesman Charles Bickers said.