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In all the coverage of the Boeing Mechanics contract vote today, the main message that I'm hearing is "A no vote by the workers will ruin Seattle's economy".

Has there been any research into what happens when Boeing workers accept the contract and then can no longer afford to live in Seattle? What will happen if we have another "Bust" and all the new Boeing 401K retirements go up in smoke? Who pays then for all these people without retirement? Have there been any folks asking what the Ownership, Management of Boeing is going to give up to stay here. We're asking Boeing workers to give up their futures and I think we need to ask more questions before we put the blame squarely on them for wrecking Seattle's economy.

I would like to see folks addressing these issues as well and standing and wringing their hands about the nerve of workers rejecting a contract.

I've been a lurker here for a Really Long time so I'm dipping my toes in the pool. Be gentle.

Poll

Should the Boeing workers accept the contract

23%17 votes
49%36 votes
26%19 votes
1%1 votes

| 73 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too. -Kurt Vonnegut

    by brentut5 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:02:48 PM PST

  •  Thank you for emerging! (5+ / 0-)

    I am happy to read your diary- it brings up a lot of interesting questions that I hope folks will discuss here. My hope is that the issues we talk about will cause at least a few folks here on DKos who might not otherwise be inclined- to ponder labor issues from a worker's perspective.

  •  Union wages (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, bobatkinson

    become minimum wage and entry level means stuck where you are. That's what it sounds like the machinists are fighting against - all industry being run like Walmart. I'm not sure what agreeing to that does to Seattle's economy even if minimum wage goes up there like it sounds it's destined to.

    •  If they vote no Boeing is going (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      to take 5-50,000 jobs to another state. That's what the conversation is about for ruining Seattle's economy. That's a lot of jobs to move away. And in Seattle every Boeing job supports an additional 5 jobs in the service industry and local economy.

      There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too. -Kurt Vonnegut

      by brentut5 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:27:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but how long do we continue the race to the (0+ / 0-)

        bottom.  Boeing is making record profits, their stock price is up 80% in the last year and they have the largest first order ever for the plane involved in this contract.

        So why do they have to cut the workers benefits?

        If those jobs go to another state (and now they won't since the vote is over), they are just going to somewhere cheaper, with fewer benefits to continue the destruction of the middle class.

        How long do we let corporations push people down like this?  And so why are the workers wrong for fighting back?

        If you took the greed out of Wall Street all you’d have left is pavement ~Robert Reich

        by k8dd8d on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 10:27:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  brentut - is there a good, balanced (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, Maverick80229

    overview or summary of the issues at hand including what the contract proposal is for the Boeing workers? Maybe something in the Seattle newspaper? Many of us don't know enough about the negotiations, and what is on the table, to have a thoughtful response to your poll.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:36:26 PM PST

  •  This is where I point out (7+ / 0-)

    that Boeing posted net earnings of $1.1 billion in third quarter 2013.

    They're making so much money they can't even hide it. I don't see why they can't pay their machinists.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 07:11:43 PM PST

    •  It's obvious why not. (0+ / 0-)

      Because next quarter, they must post net earnings of 1.2 billion. Which means cutting another 100,000,000 out of the workers' hides. etc, to the end of days.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 08:22:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  MK - look at the Seatle Times article linked above (0+ / 0-)

      What the company is saying is that they are currently delivering planes where they have exceptionally good profit margins because the pricing was from five years ago. The planes in the pipeline don't have the benefit of higher prices, have smaller margins and profitability will be declining.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 09:50:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So when are the executives taking their pay cut? (4+ / 0-)

        Funny how the money is always there when bonus time rolls around.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 12:21:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, but you are missing the whole (0+ / 0-)

        union busting agenda of the upper management.  They are saying all that about competitiveness, but their competitor builds in Europe, where there is high taxation and benefits provided by central governments.  So it's an invalid argument.

        If you took the greed out of Wall Street all you’d have left is pavement ~Robert Reich

        by k8dd8d on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 10:29:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If Airbus is lowering prices (0+ / 0-)

          what difference does it make? Lower prices lead to lower profit margins and more pressure to reduce costs. If governments are providing benefits, like healthcare, to the Airbus workers doesn't that put even more cost pressure on Boeing who pays for its employees healthcare?

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 05:56:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  also note the dividend boost (0+ / 0-)

      The dividend was just boosted 50%, to about 2% at current share value, a yearly gain of over $6,000 per Boeing employee (all of them, not only the Machinists).  At least it is not just all going to senior management.  

      By far the biggest issue to the company was ending the fixed-benefit pension plan; they retained the pay rates and rapid raises noted in the Times article.  But, no numbers have been given on how much they have been contributing to the pension plan, vs the short-term increase in 401K matching, but I somehow imagine it is much less.

      More (any) women in company and union mgmt would sure have made for smoother negotiations, given less testosterone.

      Bottom line: with a $10K signing bonus (bribe) this month, the local car dealers should do OK.

  •  Contract Accepted (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brentut5, buffie, Maverick80229, k8dd8d

    I'm of two minds about this.  First it's a totally unfair contract for the union workers.  The company is riding high and making record profits.  They are spending 10 billion just on stock buy backs and paying record dividends as well.  So their is no reason other than capitalistic greed for the company proposal.  

    On the other hand.  In the 1980's the Lockheed Shipyard in Seattle had the highest paid shipyard workers in the world. The average wage was something like $25 an hour and there was lots of overtime at 1.5 an hour. The union voted down a give back contract similar to this one and true to their word the company closed the yard and moved it too Louisiana within a year replacing every worker with one willing to do the work for half the money.

    The labor market is rigged and it's hard to win when the only game in town is rigged against you.  

    A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

    by YellerDog on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 11:27:08 PM PST

    •  Exactly the same feelings here (0+ / 0-)

      Although many old timers around here felt that the problems Boeing has encountered with moving the line to South Carolina to build the 787 showed them how badly they needed the union machinists in Seattle to build the 777x and that all the "search for another site", etc, was all a smokescreen to scare the machinists into doing exactly what they did....cut their own pensions.

      If you took the greed out of Wall Street all you’d have left is pavement ~Robert Reich

      by k8dd8d on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 10:31:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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