Follow us:

Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

November 8, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Vote: Will the Machinists accept Boeing’s offer?

Boeing Machinists enter a closed meeting at union headquarters Thursday night to discuss Boeing's proposal. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson / The Seattle Times)

Boeing Machinists enter a closed meeting at union headquarters Thursday night to discuss Boeing’s proposal. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson / The Seattle Times)

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

Libertarians are very confused about capitalism | Salon

(Some of) The biggest business blunders in history | Business Insider

Seven reasons why Obamacare isn’t facing a death spiral | Wonkblog

Shadow banking and the global financial ecosystem | Vox

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?

 

 

Comments | More in Aerospace/Boeing

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►