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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 14, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Keeping Boeing here

Update labor relations

I read with interest the editorial “Keeping Boeing here” [Opinion, April 12]. I am all for Boeing remaining in Washington. Boeing has a highly skilled work force that has “bailed” them out on the 787 program, given the dismal failure of their new business model of outsourcing. The jobs in question are truly family-supporting. Additionally, Boeing contributes in many, many ways to the quality of life we all enjoy in Washington.

What I find a bit tedious is Boeing’s claim that labor costs will force them to move in order to remain competitive in the global marketplace. Boeing should look at their philosophy and the principles they invoke when negotiating labor contracts.

Boeing has the most archaic labor-relations model in the U.S. While other companies have long ago recognized and moved on to a more collaborative relationship with their labor force, Boeing continues to perpetuate the long-outdated advisorial approach to labor relations.

The editorial mentions 202 days of lost work due to employment strikes in the past seven negotiations. What other industry in the past 20 years has even had a labor strike, let alone one as long as those Boeing experienced?

It’s time Boeing entered the 21st century and talk adult-to-adult with their highly skilled production and technical team members.

— Nancy Kuehnoel, Des Moines

Wine also a pride of Washington

I take umbrage to Douglas Mays [“Keep operations in Washington,” Northwest Voices, April 13]. While I agree with him about the quality of our local airline production, I feel the quality of Washington state wines is also world class. Mays and the Italians are welcome to open a bottle and decide for themselves.

— Jim Musielewicz, SodoVino, Seattle

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