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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 29, 2014 at 12:06 PM

A tone deaf decision by Boeing executives to move engineers

Dominic Gates’ article “Big bucks in moving Boeing engineers” [Business/Technology, April 26] is another brick in the demise of Boeing in the Pacific Northwest.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the auto industry left the Detroit area to lower-cost states in the U.S. and to low-wage countries. While it may have taken decades for Detroit to get where it is now, it was the start. I don’t suspect Seattle will get to that point simply because of the diversification of companies in the area.

What Boeing gains in savings doesn’t even come close to matching what they will lose. The loss of tribal knowledge puts the public at risk.

Relying on new engineers (with current engineers admitting they won’t be as forthcoming with the transfer of knowledge) puts the public at risk. Scott Hamilton, Issaquah-based aviation analyst with Leeham.net, points out quite accurately that “Chicago (referring to Boeing’s headquarters) right now seems totally tone deaf” to the risks of what they are losing.

“Facilitate understanding, acceptance and support the transformation journey.” That was the message stated on a slide at a presentation.

That message doesn’t need to be shown to the engineers, it needs to be shown to the Boeing executives who’ve made a poor decision. But they won’t admit an egregious error because they believe they are protecting the bottom line. And as always, money drives everything.

Jim Dunn, Maple Valley

Comments | More in Boeing | Topics: Boeing, engineers, Jim Dunn

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