Boeing machinists cave to reality

Striking Members of IAMAW District W3 Lodge 2362

Striking Members of IAMAW District W3 Lodge 2362 (Photo credit: wisaflcio)

Boeing machinists voted to accept a contract virtually identical to one they rejected last year by a 2-to-1 vote. Reality intruded on their so-called “principles”.

Two months ago the machinists union worked overtime to kill the contract offer that was designed to keep production of the 777X in Washington Puget Sound region. The fundamental point contention was flipping their pension from a designed benefit to a 401K style plan. The union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), went into full socialist mode with the first contract and worked every way they could find to defeat the offer.

That’s when they found out that Boeing wasn’t about to back down from a fight.

Boeing was not subtle in its response to the rejection. After the vote, Boeing immediately began soliciting bids from other states; about two dozen states applied, some offering major tax breaks valued in the billions of dollars. Boeing executives told Washington state elected officials earlier this week that another rejection by the machinists union would guarantee that the 777X project would be located outside Washington state.

That would have been a big blow to the state’s economy, and to its self-image.

Boeing laid it on the line to the Democratic governor of Washington. “Get behind this deal because we’ll move in a heartbeat if it fails.” Or words to that effect.

For the past two months Boeing has been entertaining serious offers from 20 states that would love to build the 777X, as well as having 20,000 good paying jobs move to their state. Needless to say, Washington’s public officials took the threat seriously enough that they went after the union members with a publicity campaign urging them to accept the contract. They did accept it. Narrowly.

The union wanted another big NO vote. They got their heads handed to them and there are now “deep divisions” within the union.

Personally, we wanted the union to reject the contract. Boeing would have moved the 777X out of state, along with 20,000 jobs, and they would certainly have gone to a Right to Work state.

Even staying in Washington, it looks like Boeing has made stand and an affirmative statement that they will NOT let the unions run the company.

That’s a hopeful sign.


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Posted by on January 5, 2014.
Filed under Categories, Culture.
Tagged with: .
Michael Becker is a long time activist and a businessman. He's been involved in the pro-life movement since 1976 and has been counseling addicts and ministering to prison inmates since 1980. Becker is a Curmudgeon. He has decades of experience as an operations executive in turnaround situations and in mortgage banking. He blogs regularly at The Right Curmudgeon, The Minority Report, Wizbang, Unified Patriots and Joe for America. He lives in Phoenix and is almost always armed.

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  • jim_m

    With the NLRB and its strong arm tactics having failed and the prospect that the NLRB may soon be rendered a non-entity since its vacancies cannot be filled and it lacks statutory authority to act, Boeing is now in a position to start pushing the union and its members to actually do their job.

    Frankly, I hope the unions keep on pushing. It would serve them right to have Boeing leave WA and move somewhere where you find people that actually want to work for a living.

  • jim_m

    With the NLRB and its strong arm tactics having failed and the prospect that the NLRB may soon be rendered a non-entity since its vacancies cannot be filled and it lacks statutory authority to act, Boeing is now in a position to start pushing the union and its members to actually do their job.

    Frankly, I hope the unions keep on pushing. It would serve them right to have Boeing leave WA and move somewhere where you find people that actually want to work for a living.

  • GarandFan

    Unions had better start facing reality. With a very LARGE U6 number, they’re not really in a position of strength. Then couple that with the fact that their supposed political fops are pushing for “comprehensive immigration reform” which will add how many millions to the work force.

  • mikegiles

    Too many unions – especially the leaders – are living in the past. To the era right after WW2, when all the other industrial powers in the world had been reduced to rubble. For years until, they recovered the US basically had the world to themselves. But times change, now the US has to compete with the entire world, and those union contracts they used to hand out are a thing of the past. Not to mention that the collapse of so many unionized industries, should be a lesson to us all.

    • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

      It should be a lesson, but there’s plenty of people who won’t learn it.

  • LiberalNightmare

    At this point, unions are costing more jobs than they save. Democrats and union leaders will have to change their game.

    Cant misappropriate those union dues into campaign contributions if all the dues payers are laid off.

  • Lawrence Westlake

    What’s good for the likes of Boeing is good for the country. What’s bad for labor unions is good for the country. The irony, of course, is that the unions and their Democrat puppet masters along with their media enablers can’t even grasp the irony.