written by bendygirl at Thursday, October 02, 2008
Boeing executives say a prolonged strike could wound the company, which is behind schedule on the fuel-saving Dreamliner 787 and has seen high demand ramp up production by 50 percent this year.
I’m all shits and giggles for Boeing. I know in my heart that they think about their workforce the same as the likes of Kongsberg Automotive and American Axle, not a squat.
When fuel prices soared and profits plummeted, the Executives of Continental Airlines did something different, they decided to forego pay.
The virally anti-union JetBlue’s CEO took a 50% pay cut from August to the end of the year and Airtran’s Bob Fornaro opted for a 15% pay cut. Clearly, these are nothing in comparison to the massive pay cuts taken at Continental by CEO Lawrence Kellner and President Jeff Smisek.
With the recent talk of a bailout of Wall Street and the massive salaries for CEO’s, actions like that of Kellner and Smisek are even more out of the ordinary, they are down right singular. That’s one of the reasons I wonder about the current actions of Boeing and their desire to only compensate workers when what they want is to help make Boeing a better company, more profitable and producing a better product. Boeing has a work force dedicated to the success of Boeing.
The union is using the strike to attack the company's relentless outsourcing. In the 2002 contract Boeing won the ability to use non-union suppliers for more parts. The union wants a six-month window where it could bid on work before it is outsourced.
If the Machinists can come up with a proposal and show that we can do it cheaper, better, that quality work is there, we should be able to keep that work in-house," said Local 751A steward Steve Parsley.
Boeing hasn't shown much interest in letting the union make its case. The company complained the union was trying to tell it how to run the business, and instead touted its proposed 11 percent wage boost over three years. Boeing negotiator Doug Kight reportedly called his proposal "the best contract offer in America this year."
Wage increases are great, especially for the worker coming in making $11 an hour, however, it means nothing if you have to pay higher prices for prescriptions and insurance and oh yeah, this one:
Boeing's proposal, however, would… take away the family's right to a pension if a worker dies.
With Boeing hovering at 5 to 7% labor costs per plane produced and…
Aircraft maker Boeing has been groaning under a $275 million backlog of orders for new airplanes that waste less fuel. The company booked a $4.1 billion profit last year, and its principal union, the Machinists (IAM), says Boeing's profits have soared by 828 percent in recent years.
When your workers make you profitable, why is it they can’t share in the success? When things are bad, they take concessions to keep the company afloat, but when things improve and they have made it possible for the company to bring in $4.1 BILLION in profits in 1 year, then then contract that’s offered, the one that’s put forward should take into consideration the sacrifices made to bring the company to this position. I know American Axle and Kongsberg Automotive don’t understand this concept, but if Continental’s CEO and President can get it and sacrifice themselves, then why can’t Boeing figure this out?
Boeing, let me break it down for you:
When you invest in your people, they’ll invest in you. When you’re good to your people, they’re good to you. When YOU sacrifice for your people, they’ll sacrifice for you. But when you screw them with reduced benefits and offer nominal pay increases in the face of massive profits and current substantial backorders, well, don’t expect anything less than a strike, it’s really the only option left on the table for your workers.