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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 31, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Boeing: Why should they stay?

Just follow the signs to see why Boeing may leave

A recent visit to the Boeing plant in Mukilteo provides a poignant metaphor for the relationship between Boeing and Greater Seattle. Many other visitors and I got lost on the way to the Boeing tour due to insufficient signs.

Boeing advised us that the government highway authorities thought there were too many signs already and refused to allow Boeing to put up signs directing visitors to their tourist facilities. I can assure you South Carolina will ask Boeing, “How many signs?” and “Where shall we put ’em?”

Sam Howe Verhovek [“Boeing and Puget Sound — shared DNA,” Opinion, guest columnist, July 19] engages in some wishful thinking in hypothesizing that Boeing rocket scientists have overlooked important factors in their move.

What is surprising is that they have waited this long. Boeing gives me the same feeling that Caterpillar did in the ’90 s when they were dealing with labor unrest. They made the tough decisions and have been the darling of Wall Street ever since.

Boeing is appropriately responding to Seattle’s tepid embrace.

— Bob Bell, Brooklyn, New York

Unions aren’t team players for Boeing success

A word of advice to Boeing unions, specifically the International Association of Machinists: As an outsider looking in, I can tell you that you’re being led down a dark path with no future.

Your leaders are relics from the past and their strong-arm tactics are tiresome. Consider that Boeing’s nonunion employees look for ways to improve processes to stay competitive, yet you are encouraged to do the bare minimum. A company needs team members working toward a common goal, but you’re labeled as adversarial antagonists by the public. Boeing is in business to make money for everyone’s benefit, not to be held for ransom losing billions of dollars in revenue and forcing customers to look elsewhere while you’re on strike, and the list goes on.

Boeing doesn’t want volatile workers on their payroll and neither would you. Get your heads out of the sand, guys and gals: Boeing doesn’t have to negotiate with you anymore. They will just move away. You’ve got a chance to think for yourselves, and do what’s right for Boeing, its entire work force, its customers and suppliers.

Be team members, and change for the better.

— Conrad Rupp, Renton

Plastic bags for plastic wings?

Could it be that, secretly, Boeing is behind the plastic grocery bag ban because it needs plastic bags for the wing repair on the 787 Dreamliner?

— Ed Anderson, Kirkland

Comments | More in aviation, Boeing, Business, Economy, Labor, Unions

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