There’s only one big question in the Puget Sound region today: Will the Machinists accept Boeing’s hard-ball offer to build the 777X and its composite wing here? I’ll be writing about this more on Sunday. At the moment, the deal is far from a sure thing.
At the end of a Thursday meeting with members, District 751 President Tom Wroblewski tore up a copy of Boeing’s contract, calling it “a piece of crap.”
It’s easy to sympathize with union members who are angry with being asked to give back gains it took years of collective bargaining to achieve. Boeing is booking record profits and not asking top executives to hold back on taking high compensation. There may be a division between older workers that can ride out the backlog of orders here and retire fine, and younger ones that hope to have a place to work for the next 25 years.
To restate the obvious, Boeing does not have its old loyalty to the region. It has other places to build the airplane, however much that may cost, however destructive it might seem to throw over Washington’s high skills and experience. Non-union South Carolina would do anything to land this project and future ones. And a “no” vote could begin a slow death spiral for the company’s employment here.
What do you think will happen?
Read on for the best economy and business stories of the week…and the haiku.
This Week’s Links:
• How to tell if the job market is improving | Mark Thoma
• Labor force participation drops | Economic Policy Institute
• Inside the October jobs report | CBPP
• Yes, being a young American adult is a financial nightmare | The Atlantic
• Obama wants to cut Social Security | Naked Capitalism
• (Some of) The biggest business blunders in history | Business Insider
• Wealth, health and inequality | NYT Economix
Today’s Econ Haiku:
What’s a piece of crap?
Saving aerospace work here?
Or jobs at Wal-Mart?