Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 26, 2013 at 6:39 AM

Thoughts on Boeing and the Machinists

Boeing Machinists will regret rejecting the offer workers elsewhere are welcoming with open arms

Pedro Olguin, a teamster, chants into a bullhorn at a "Build it Here" rally of Boeing Machinists and supporters Nov. 18, in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Pedro Olguin, a teamster, chants into a bullhorn at a “Build it Here” rally of Boeing Machinists and supporters Nov. 18, in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The Boeing Machinists and their union have been living in a parallel universe when it comes to jobs in today’s economy [“15 sites picked to make pitch for 777X,” page one, Nov. 24].

They have decried the lack of Boeing’s loyalty and prided their legacy positions, all fueled by the Kool-Aid of exceptionally high blue-collar wages (reportedly an average of $85,000) and more-than-generous benefits.

The rest of the business world has known for a long time that business is not personal nor about loyalty, but instead about quality performance, meeting company expectations and producing adequate revenue for continued growth. If a company ever wanted to get out of a union’s hold, Boeing has done so by being honest and upfront with their contract offer, and by not bluffing.

The Machinists union can continue to feel great pride in rejecting the “crap” offer millions of workers elsewhere are welcoming with open arms. That pride will lose some of its shine in 2 to 3 years as union members join the ranks of unemployed and give the new Boeing workers for the 777X a shot at the golden ring.

— Bonnie Stone, Kent

Machinists have little understanding of their real value

The Boeing Machinists have a right to strike, just like Boeing has a right to build its product where it wishes.

I believe there’s an error in the weight given to the skills of the Machinists. I’ve seen inside the Everett facility; I’ve worked as a Machinist, admittedly some time back. Boeing is probably very correct in its valuation of a person who can rivet, thread wires or run a lift of fetch tools. These are not valuable skills.

A third-generation riveter is still a riveter. These skilled workers have limited options away from Boeing. How many riveters, wire pullers or gophers are really needed? Maybe CNC machine operators.

Let’s remember, Boeing is principally an assembler of parts, much like PACCAR. Little is created, most is bought and bolted/riveted. From where I sit, the Machinists have little understanding of their real value.

— John Gordon, Issaquah

Comments | More in Boeing | Topics: 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.


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 ►