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Relatives of those killed in 737 MAX accidents hold up pictures of their loved ones as Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, at lower left, prepares to testify before a Senate hearing on Oct. 29. (C-SPAN Video)

In the wake of Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg’s ouster, lawmakers and union leaders said they hoped the leadership change would help the aerospace giant deal with the repercussions of two catastrophically fatal accidents involving 737 MAX airplanes and win back the public’s confidence.

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Some said the departure was long overdue. Here’s a sampling of the reaction:

Paul Shearon, a former Boeing engineer who is the president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers. The union’s affiliate — the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, IFPTE Local 2001 — represents engineers and technical workers at Boeing:

“The leadership changes announced today by Boeing are a step in the right direction. The Boeing Company has long been a world leader in both breakthrough engineering and the highest standards in aviation safety. Under Dennis Muilenburg that reputation for quality has been unquestionably tarnished.

“The roughly 20,000 engineers and technical workers represented by our union at Boeing are committed to re-establishing Boeing’s leading role in commercial aviation, defense and spaceflight. We look forward to working with current chairman and incoming CEO David Calhoun.”

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has played a lead role in investigating issues surrounding the 737 MAX tragedies:

“Based on what we’ve discovered so far in our investigation into the design, development and certification of the Boeing 737 MAX, it’s clear Dennis Muilenburg’s ouster was long overdue. Under his watch, a long-admired company made a number of devastating decisions that suggest profit took priority over safety. Furthermore, reports that Muilenburg attempted to pressure FAA into rushing the MAX back into service are highly troubling, and I commend Administrator [Steve] Dickson for making it known that FAA will take as much time as it needs to ensure safety comes first.

“This commitment to safety is something I take very seriously. Following the ValuJet crash in 1996, I led the charge in Congress to make sure FAA’s sole objective was protecting the safety of the flying public, and not promoting Boeing or any other member of the industry it regulates. I hope the decision to remove Muilenburg means that Boeing is also ready to mark a new chapter in its commitment to safety and accountability.”

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., whose district includes Boeing’s Everett factory. Larsen serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and chairs the Aviation Subcommittee:

“Nothing is more important than the safety of the traveling public. As chair of the Aviation Subcommittee, I remain committed to the thorough oversight of the 737 MAX certification process and ensuring the aircraft’s safe return to service.

“The committee’s oversight investigation will continue into 2020. I will continue to keep the 346 victims of the two tragic 737 MAX crashes and their families at the forefront, as well as the dedicated women and men of Boeing who design, assemble and build the aircraft.

“Finally, the 737 MAX should not return to service until the FAA determines it is safe to do so. The committee will continue to work with FAA Administrator Dickson and his team on safety while it also explores changes to the certification process for the future.”

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.:

“Holding corporate executives accountable is an important step toward rebuilding trust in Boeing. Innovative and dedicated workers built Boeing into a great American company. They deserve a management team and corporate culture that puts safety first.”

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation:

“Mr. Muilenburg should have gone long ago. It is right to remove a CEO who put profits above all else, but it won’t cure Boeing’s culture of safety secrecy. Rebuilding credibility at Boeing requires a complete management house cleaning.

“The company needs new leadership across the board who will take safety seriously. In the meantime, Boeing must disclose all documents and employee communications relating to possible defects on its aircraft.”

Check back for additional reaction as it comes in.

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