LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Business is business for Boeing
August 27, 2009 · Updated 10:55 AM
Re: “Workers to Blame if Boeing Goes” is a cute piece of folderol. The writer portends that if the Boeing hourly employees do not back off on their demands for ever- increasing benefits and wages, Boeing will move to South Carolina.
Boeing is not a charitable organization devoted to serving the public and dispensing largess to the poor. This is the only airliner manufacturer in the U.S. and has only one competitor, which is supported financially by a consortium of three or four European countries.
While wages and benefits are a factor in Boeing bookkeeping, there are other problems as important or more pressing than whether John the aircraft mechanic gets a raise in the next contract. Of course Boeing will press for as little increase or even a “take-away” from an employee contract. That is just good business to look toward saving money. Would this affect the profit bottom line? Certainly. But a dollar increase in hourly wages is not going to put the company into bankruptcy.
If the writer had worked for Boeing, he would realize that hourly employee contract negotiations are simply bargaining for the best deal. Boeing employs savvy executives whose specific task is to get as good a contract for Boeing as possible. These business people sit across a bargaining table from “blue collar” representatives who were elected to union positions by their constituents.
Our form of government guarantees fair representation for all in the workplace. Does anyone really expect the people of South Carolina to be any different from the Boeing employees of Washington state? They will want the same benefits and wages. They will unionize to get as much as they can from Boeing.
The one thing everyone can rely on is that Boeing is not stupid, naïve or apt to give money away. Business is business. The writer should wake up and come to the party. American business is a dog-eat-dog world.
I wonder if the writer might be in the pay of Boeing? It would be a clever way to scare the hourly workers into a more amendable attitude during contract negotiations.
Richard M. Brauer