Skip to comments.S.C. decision transforms Boeing's relationship with Washington, labor unions
Posted on 11/01/2009 9:35:34 AM PST by jazusamo
Boeing's decision to build a new airplane-assembly plant in Charleston, S.C., will change the shape of the company and dramatically alter how both the state of Washington and the Machinists union approach Boeing.
Washington state must accept a future where it competes for every new Boeing airplane program, with low-wage South Carolina as a certain rival.
The Machinists must accept that if Boeing doesn't like their demands, it can direct future work to its nonunion Charleston plants.
A defining moment could come about 2015, when Boeing will choose where to build the successor plane to either the Renton-built 737 or the Everett-built 777.
"There was a lot of sniping from Washington to the effect that 'it may be cheaper in South Carolina, but we build it better,' " said John Krug, an executive at Development Advisors, a corporate site-selection firm based in North Carolina. "The company didn't buy that argument.
"Boeing has clearly illustrated what its preference is," Krug said. "They believe they can manufacture in South Carolina and they can do it cost effectively."
Another crucial point will come even sooner, in 2012 soon after Charleston is due to roll out its first Dreamliners when the International Association of Machinists (IAM) and the white-collar union at Boeing, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), will negotiate their next contracts.
That's when the unions must face their new reality, said Scott Hamilton, an Issaquah-based aviation-industry analyst.
"Clearly, Boeing is going to be looking at the 2012 SPEEA and IAM contracts as a benchmark for deciding where the successor airplanes will be built," Hamilton said. "That will be crossing the Rubicon for labor and for Boeing."
(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.nwsource.com ...
I wonder if the Boeing unions are going to wake up.
Ever since I can remember the Seattle Times, the PI and the Unions bashed Boeing incessantly - so now when the battered wife leaves they’re upset????????
No they will not wake up until it is far too late for the states with closed shop laws.
Well said, Boeing just gave them a shot across the bow.
I personally think you’re right.
............The Machinists must accept that if Boeing doesn’t like their demands, it can direct future work to its nonunion Charleston plants....................
Zero, dead fish Rahmbo, Princess Pelosi, and Reid will all get their Rats to back “Card Check” and the thugs will intimidate enough Charleston workers to vote into a union within a month of opening.
It’s the Saul Alinsky Chicago way
"She won't be as inclined to work for anything not Washington state-related for this company," Glass said.
Murray is dumber than I thought, anything benefitting Boeing would indirectly benefit WA as long as Boeing does business here.
That’s possible but about 2/3 voted to decertify in Charleston. However, Obama and his Chicago thug cohorts operate the same as union thugs.
I think the Salinsky Stormtrooper Unions might find that they would be better off staying away from the Low Country!
Hopefully, at least the engineers' union will decertify the union. It always amazed me that the well-paid engineers were unionized.
Mark my word, the South Carolinians will make a play for the future engineering work, also. They brought a BMW plant to SC about 10 years ago and Lockheed Martin has had a strong presence in aircraft maintenance and logistics there for years.
Kudos to SC.
The Seattle Times and Seattle PI are withering away into irrelevance. Let them die in peace ... including letting them rail away against that which they do not understand.
Ya, the PI went internet and the Times went to a smaller format of print paper size ... unfortunately there are many who support the Times here ...
I've wondered the same thing many times and wouldn't be surprised to see them decertify eventually.
Another thing that I haven't seen brought up is the factor of workers, both Machinists and Engineers, that could possibly relocate to SC. I believe that's a real possibility, especially for the younger workers.
Staying away from all of SC, period!
We’d love to have them, this is a BEAUTIFUL state. (Both the land and the people)
I say that as a transplant from Flori-duh. :)
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Well, they might find work there.
There’s no waking up the government in this state, that’s for sure.
It’s like DC. They just don’t get it!
Looks like our loss is your gain.
The IAM has no one to blame but themselves. If they are as good as they like to think they are, then future jet production will be directed toward Puget Sound. It is more likely that the IAM will throw a fit, much like an 8 year old, and will lose out on the plastic 737 lines.
Too bad for us in Washington.
You summed it up well, I agree.
SC is a Right-to-Work state, I don’t think card check can force unions here? Frankly i don’t think card check will ever pass. Even so, the Charleston workers will know they got picked over a union so I think they’ll be far less likely to be coerced into unionizing. Several other large non-union businesses are in SC setting the example, believe me those workers do very well and in return work hard and ensure mutual success.
What amazes me is that there is a union of aerospace engineers.
The engineers have a union? There are a lot of good engineers out there looking for work. Some of them used to work in the auto industry.
Shouldn’t you be saying “Isn’t is time for the UNIONS to wake up”?
You’re quite right, of course we know that’s not going to happen, especially with their new bought and paid for friend in the WH.
Boeing’s unions are under the gun with a real threat of losing everything in WA a decade or two down the road and it’s probably more likely than not they won’t. I surely hope they do though for the sake of the thousands of workers here.
I understand that the proposed (what is it - Freedom for American workers bill) Card Check - will trump right to work states, and set national law on the ability for union representation based on a majority of workers signing a card - even under duress of their family being harmed by union goons - for an open period of time needed to gather enough votes and slash enough tires in the parking lot.
I may be wrong on the specifics, but the proposed bill is the most egregious assault on personal freedom, that it most certainly must be considered unconstitutional (that is until Zer0 is able to pack another dumbass in the SCOTUS!
A while back, the SC legislature had an amendment in the wings that would would change the state constitution to state that ALL elections, including union related, would have to be by secret ballot. Methinks if the card check thing gets more momentum, they will be dusting that off again. It got tabled because the card check thing got put on the back burner.
I’m sure there are plenty of people who would be willing to relocate to a non-union state and work in a non-union environment rather then be permanently laid off. I’m sure that Boeing already knows who they are and have planned around that.
I did some reading and the (I think) Chambers of Commerce wrote a letter showing how card check would hurt businesses in right-to-work states, and explained how as a worker in a business that unionized through card check- you could not be forced to pay dues, but you would essentially have the ‘right to work’ at a business that would no longer be able to remain competitive, since the business would now be subjected to union arbitration rules and all the other crap that goes along with a union. In light of that I think card check may not be so much an effort to boost union membership (although no doubt they want that too), but an effort to kill private business.