How many of us have contracts with Boeing?

The Machinists Union at Boeing are on strike. Boeing is the most significant resource for good jobs in the United States that mostly provide solid exports and thus great act in balancing the trade deficit. When over 18,000 assemblers (they dare call themselves machinists!) are idled, the trickle down effect will be devastating because all these workers do is to assemble pieces that have been made in almost every machine shop across the nation. This will idle over 180,000 additional real machinists who are mostly innocently non-union people for the most part and lacking the support of a union to help pay the bills while not working. Since it is a well proven fact that every manufacturing job supports five non manufacturing jobs.... (One manufacturing hour's output is eventually sold at an average $120.00, so at $20.00 hour rates this is six people) the effect is bound to be cataclysmic in loss of revenue across the nation.

Boeing has said they will not recover from this strike and I believe them. The French will mobilize Airbus to the nth degree to steal Boeings customers and have the Brits and other European nations behind them so there will be no shortages of parts for Airbus.

Thus in one fell swoop our great labor union mentality, avarice and self-indulgence is about to put us into bankruptcy. They have done it to almost 80% of all manufacturing jobs already by sending them to Mexico and China. Now they are giving the EU the golden eggs and killing the goose itself that used to live and thrive in this nation.


Reply to
Wayne Lundberg
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Wayne Lundberg wrote: a terse and plausible description of a big problem.

Wayne, I tend to agree. Our best hope now (for keeping the US manufacturing infrastructure intact) is the Japanese automakers. Fortunately that seems to be going well; here in Ohio, Honda is the top of the food chain and growing.

Reply to
Fred R

Reply to
Wayne Lundberg

Wayne, I have to disagree. The union was given an ultimatum. The offer upped medical cost from $66.00 to over $400.00 for a family. Now I know that lots of folks pay more than that. I do. I'm self employed. But this is a huge increase. And Boeing says there will be no compromise. And any economic suffering Boeing has can be laid at the feet of Boeing management. The latest jet will be having it's wings made overseas. This means that very valuable technology will now be in the hands of a foreign government. If the unions were truly the downfall then the EU would have fallen years ago. We would not be losing business to Airbus. I've been watching Boeing for years now and the outsourcing won't stop until Americans are paid third world wages. However, I do think it's silly to call all the blue collar union workers machinists. But that's the classifaction. I responded to an ad for an "Outside Machinist" that was for the Washington State Ferries. The woman I spoke with told me that and "Outside Machinist" was actually a diesel mechanic. I guess anybody who manipulates machined parts is a machinist. Eric R Snow

Reply to
Eric R Snow

---snip--- an ad for an "Outside

There would be no problem if the unions accepted the simple fact that tooling, horsepower, automation and robotics were a fact of life and learn to use these tools instead of putting themselves in the way of technology. As a manufacturing engineer in all of my projects I accounted for the potential loss of a job by showing that the increased productivity and cost reductions would evolve into greater sales so that the machinist at the cutoff saw would now be promoted to receiving inspection.... but the unions never paid attention.

Case in point: Back in 1985 when robotics were just getting a start our Chapter 299 of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the San Diego City College launched an "Automation Technology" course that would produce an associate's degree in two years of evening classes. I was with Solar Turbines, a division of Caterpillar, and wanted to post an announcement of this course along the passageways at the plant to recruit students and to let people know what the college was doing to help promote efficiency in a difficult time when work was already going overseas. I was told "No way!" by the union and our feeble, weak-kneed HR people went along with it. Why? Because there was no classification for Automation Technologist in the union papers, rules or regulations and they were not about to support an effort that would reduce the number of man hours to accomplish a task. No matter what.

Graduates of the first few years did find rewarding employment, but not enough. The course has since gone into outer space. And over 80% of good paying manufacturing jobs in San Diego have vanished.


Reply to
Wayne Lundberg

Problem is there is always a "rest of the story."

While it is true that there appears to be very large signing bonuses up from for every union member, it is the Esau/Jacob/Isaac story all over again.

The worm in this apple is the revision of the contract that allows Boeing to curtail medical coverage for existing employees and retirees by both increasing premium sharing and co-payments. This is to end in the total elimination of medical coverage for both current and retired union employees.

Thus, current union members are being asked to not only compromise their own long-term best self interests for a not inconsiderable immediate up front cash payment, but to also "sell out" their retired members that relied on company medical insurance when making their retirement plans.

If this latest birthright for pottage swap is accepted, it will be only a matter of time before the existing Boeing defined benefit pension plans are terminated and ceded to the PBGC, to be replaced with fraudulent 401k plans at best or more likely nothing for the hourly employees. This process has already begun with the sale of most of the actual manufacturing operation to a shadowy Canadian conglomerate with little to no knowledge about building aircraft but considerable expertise in rendering dead and dyeing corporations, especially those suffering from self-inflicted wounds, to recover assets such as "excess" pension funds.

The "Jacobs/suits" have well insulated their deferred-compensation and benefit funds in a series of judgment/bankruptcy proof "trust funds," and will prosper no matter what happens.

Make no mistake about it - you are involved, even if do not work for Boeing, own no Boeing stock and do no Boeing subcontracting. People do not stop getting sick or injured just because they have no medical coverage, and Americans do not allow other Americans to die in the streets. Your taxes will go up, and the quality/quantity of medical care available to you will go down as Boeing reduces and then ends medical coverage of their current and retired employees. As Boeing pensions are terminated, your taxes will increase and/or your pension will decrease to cover the soaring PBGC costs.

The obvious solution to this current difficulty is to again move corporate headquarters. Just as management solved the last crisis by moving to Chicago, they can solve this one by moving to New Orleans?.

Reply to
F. George McDuffee

Boeing of Portland is just one big machine shop with probably the largest heat treating facility on the west coast. I have been through the plant about

20+ years ago. Although most are machine operators not real machinist's, they do cut metal however.

We do have a real problem with health insurance in this country. So many things have caused the rates to go up. It's almost $900 a month on the west coast for Health insurance. We have been getting short changed on our raises because of the rising cost of health insurance.

Reply to
Richard W.

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