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December 10, 2013 at 7:04 PM
State politicians should negotiate, not cave
Boeing is negotiating to get the best deal possible. Why? To make higher profits [“Boeing 777X wish list asks states to grant big savings,” page one, Dec. 6].
It is not in the business of community service. Our state politicians should negotiate with Boeing to benefit the taxpayers.
Boeing started negotiations by asking for the moon to help it be profitable. While we want it to be profitable, our politicians should counteroffer by asking for a share of the profits to offset the costs of site and infrastructure improvements. Negotiate, don’t cave.
November 28, 2013 at 7:48 AM
As competition increases, we don’t have time for threats and strikes
Most of the letters to date have supported Boeing in the contract fiasco with the Machinists union [“15 sites picked to make pitch for 777X, page one, Nov. 24].
I am one who faults both sides. Since the merger, Boeing has been increasingly hostile to unions in general and the Machinists in particular. The peremptory, take-it-or-leave-it manner in which It threw the latest “labor peace” contract on the table is an indicator of the loathing senior management has for this union. For the union’s part, its Christmas 2008 strike was both arrogant and foolish, and utterly unnecessary. It cemented a hostile confrontational animus toward management.
November 26, 2013 at 7:02 PM
$100 billion of confirmed orders would be lost
Will somebody from the union side of the world please explain to us what the local Machinists union just accomplished by refusing to build the Boeing 777X in Washington state? Yes, it protected some union benefits, but at what cost to the state? [“15 sites picked to make pitch for 777X,” page one, Nov. 24].
This last week, Boeing signed contracts to build $100 billion worth of the 777X somewhere. With a hundred billion dollars in confirmed orders, it can build the plane anywhere it wants (and it wanted to build it here). The Machinists said “no.”
November 26, 2013 at 6:39 AM
Boeing Machinists will regret rejecting the offer workers elsewhere are welcoming with open arms
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.
November 25, 2013 at 6:36 AM
Boeing and the union need to resume negotiations and retain a pension plan
As an International Association of Machinists union member, it is very disconcerting to me that the majority of the public is so highly critical of our members for having rejected the recent 777X contract ["States salivating for 777X feast," page one, Nov. 20].
The majority of members, including myself, have been fighting for decades to keep in place the pension and benefits won by our predecessors. It is difficult to give away something we fought so hard for, at a time when the company is enjoying record high profits and sales.
November 22, 2013 at 7:02 PM
Think about the workers who made Boeing’s wealth possible
I have never written a letter to The Times, but guest columnist Brendan Williams wrote such a compelling piece that I had to do so [“Stop doubling down on Boeing,” Opinion, Nov. 21].
Boeing executives seemingly have become the antithesis of the good citizen. They receive billions from the federal government in the form of defense contracts, and then more billions in tax breaks from the state of Washington.
November 19, 2013 at 7:01 PM
Union ignores the middle class
The International Association of Machinists District 751 did not stand up for middle-class jobs. They sent great middle-class jobs somewhere else [“Machinists defended middle class,” Opinion, Nov. 18].
Boeing offered a guaranteed eight-year contract with a guaranteed annual cost-of-living raises plus a 1 percent raise every other year. In the last five years at my company, most employees haven’t received raises at all (not even a cost-of-living increase). They would love to have had the guaranteed increases IAM District 751 just rejected for the last five years.
November 17, 2013 at 9:12 AM
Preserve Boeing heritage by passing a right-to-work law
Boeing is a state institution birthed and nurtured in Washington state and not the plaything for their union ["Boeing launches hunt for place to build 777X," page one, Nov. 15].
The citizens of Washington should have the only say as to the fate of our heritage. In typical union arrogance, the union believes it can bully Boeing into submission because it has a union monopoly in building airplanes in the U.S. The South Carolina Boeing venture suggests that Washington Boeing workers are competing with workers from other states.
I recently visited Charleston, S.C. German BMW cars are built in South Carolina. I watched a ship being loaded with 7,000 cars that would later be distributed around the world. There are 6,000 nonunion Boeing workers in South Carolina. The state is eager to increase the Boeing presence to further the economic well-being.
If the citizens of Washington state want to preserve their Boeing heritage, the only solution is to immediately pass a right-to-work law.
Don Wilbur, University Place
November 17, 2013 at 7:04 AM
They are destroying jobs and increasing dependence on the government
I wonder if today’s unions and socialists (admitted or otherwise) realize to what extent they are destroying jobs and the area’s future [“Machinists vote no,” page one, Nov. 14].
They are accelerating inflation and increasing dependency on the government. Do they just not care or are those their goals?
People tend to think that unions are for people, when actually unions are for unions, just as corporations are for corporations. As opposed to unions, corporations that do well create more jobs. Are people really so naive as to think higher wages don’t lead to higher prices? If they don’t realize it now, they will when they’re retired (if they ever can), as I am, and don’t get automatic pay increases every year.
When I graduated from engineering school in Iowa and moved to Seattle to work for Boeing many years ago, my wife and I found a nice one-bedroom apartment in a brand-new building renting for $85 per month. After our first child was born, we moved to a two-bedroom in a different location, but the rent was over a hundred dollars a month!
Of course my salary was less than one-third of the minimum wage today, but way more than the twenty-five cents an hour I earned working part-time in a drugstore when I was twelve.
I suppose those folks losing jobs can move to a right-to-work state where more jobs are being created, the cost of living is far less and they’ll likely be better off.
Gary T. McGavran, Bellevue
November 17, 2013 at 7:02 AM
Sick of Machinist’s entitlement
After considering the Machinist’s decision to reject the new extension offer from Boeing, I have only settled on one conclusion: It is acceptable, right and correct to expect excellent compensation, health-care benefits and a pension from an employer ["Boeing launches hunt for place to build 777x, page one, Nov. 15].
These things show that the employee is valued and has merit. However, there seems to be a lack of conversation about the responsibility of the employee. Does the employee exhibit the same amount of compensation they are demanding?
I am very against expecting something without merit. After being hired into the Boeing company, I would hear comments about working at the “lazy B” from friends. During training, senior members would tell me to put my Boeing gloves on, while putting their hands in their pant pockets. When walking down an aisle, I was insisted to walk slower because “We’re on company time … don’t walk so fast.” And time and time again, I would hear “We get paid by the hour … quality, not quantity.” It was used as a way to get away with less and to be an ineffective employee. If you have ever worked for Boeing, you know this common attitude to be true.
With that, I think it’s great that a union can demand recognition and excellence from their employer in terms of compensation. But I also think the employer can and should demand excellence from their employee in the same right.
There are hard workers at Boeing who do an excellent job and are demanding notice and to be compensated by Boeing with a better contract. On the other hand, there are a lot of lazy Machinists who expect compensation when it’s not deserved.
As a Machinist myself who voted, I think we all need to recognize our contribution to the company we work for and also expect more from our attitudes, our work ethic and what gives us the platform to expect more (such as a better contract). Without us, the aircraft would not be built. I’m sick of the entitlement I’ve seen at Boeing for “more” while doing less.
If we want more, we have to show them we will work for it, which is the way to win a better contract.
Joshua D. Molstre, Lake Stevens
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