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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 8, 2008 at 4:09 PM

Boeing strike

Find a way

I think both Boeing executives and IAM [International Association of Machinists] union leaders ought to have their heads whacked together to knock some sense into them.

The company’s slogan is “find a way.” How do the union and company think this strike is going to be solved? By burying their heads in the sand?

If they talked to one another again, maybe they would find some common ground.

Negotiation requires each side to give a little.

— Rebecca R. Hathaway, Federal Way

Something is better than nothing

Boeing’s chairman and CEO, Jim McNerney, is only stating a truism when he said that any union that emphasizes only wage and benefits in any settlement package will eventually negotiate themselves right out of a job. An increase in wage and benefits, without a corresponding increase in productivity, is a dead-end street for both the union and industry involved.

Those who choose to ignore this simple economic fact do so at their peril, as auto workers are now finding out. Many have lost their benefits, and those who have lost their jobs are now working for wages that are half of what they once earned.

Is all of this long-term pain really worth the short-term gain?

Settle for what you can get because it’s better than nothing at all.

— Roy Weston, Burnaby, B.C.

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