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Back to Washington for Boeing
August 19, 2011 10:25 AM   Subscribe

Boeing's new Dreamliner plant in South Carolina was found to be retaliation for union strikes by the National Labor Relations Board, an independent agency (On Point radio show). That's prompted Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) to launch an all-out war on the NRLB according to Dahlia Lithwick. (Previously.)
posted by klangklangston (78 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Why does Rep. Issa hate the American worker so much?
posted by DU at 10:31 AM on August 19, 2011 [17 favorites]


If this gets any traction, people need to get in the streets. The law is that the only option a company has to absolutely avoid a union is to shut down. Cease existing.

It cannot close, and reopen elsewhere or under another name.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:36 AM on August 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


If which thing gets any traction?
posted by grobstein at 10:39 AM on August 19, 2011


Here's a very good profile of Darrell Issa – warts, exaggerations, weird past stuff and all – that was published in the New Yorker in January.
posted by koeselitz at 10:40 AM on August 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


It cannot close, and reopen elsewhere or under another name.

I like unions and all, but that's unenforceable.
posted by GuyZero at 10:40 AM on August 19, 2011


So what are the punitive measures against Boeing? Do they pay a fine? Move the plant operations back to Washington?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:41 AM on August 19, 2011


Guys, Boeing has no choice. They only made $3.3 billion in 2010 (up from $1.3 billion in 2009). Unions are killing them.
posted by Legomancer at 10:42 AM on August 19, 2011 [54 favorites]


Why does Rep. Issa hate the American worker so much?

Because American workers didn't help him and his brother steal cars.
posted by blucevalo at 10:43 AM on August 19, 2011 [26 favorites]


I like unions and all, but that's unenforceable.

That part of the reason we have the NLRB - to make those determinations. That's why they are and independent agency.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:44 AM on August 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


sorry, hit post by mistake.

to continue...

That's why Issa sticking his nose in the middle and trying to make this political is unAmerican, absolutely uncalled for, and should not be tolerated by anyone.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:45 AM on August 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


"So what are the punitive measures against Boeing? Do they pay a fine? Move the plant operations back to Washington?"

Currently, the NRLB is telling them that they have to move production back to Washington. Boeing hopes for a more generous settlement, as does South Carolina. NRLB will probably acquiesce and seek a compromise keeping both open, which will allow Boeing to slowly bleed off Washington to South Carolina.
posted by klangklangston at 10:46 AM on August 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


> Democrats should not let this happen without a colossal fight.

Boy, if I had a nickle every time I heard this...
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:46 AM on August 19, 2011 [30 favorites]


It cannot close, and reopen elsewhere

Sure it can. American factory work gets shipped to China all the time. I would guess it was only the Boeing defense contracts that kept manufacturing in the country in the first place.

About the only ray of hope for the American line worker is that China is developing a large middle class and things are getting more expensive there all the time.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:47 AM on August 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


I would guess it was only the Boeing defense contracts that kept manufacturing in the country in the first place.

They didn't keep it here, they outsourced overseas as much as they could.
(Then they found out the hard way that the hidden costs of the outsourcing vastly outweighed the savings. Last I heard, their New New Hotness plan was to move most of that production back to the USA)
posted by -harlequin- at 10:56 AM on August 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Tell Me No Lies: “Sure it can. American factory work gets shipped to China all the time.”

What great insider info you've got! It's funny that you're telling us this, rather than informing the NLRB, whose job it is to investigate these things. One would almost suspect that your vague information isn't actually backed up by facts, but by the general common wisdom about labor relations.
posted by koeselitz at 10:56 AM on August 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


About the only ray of hope for the American line worker is that China is developing a large middle class and things are getting more expensive there all the time.

Two problems. First, it's happening slowly. If things get better for the American workers in fifty years then that doesn't really help anyone working today. Second, there are a shit-ton of people in China. If China acquires a middle class that is twice the size of the entire population of the US then that will still leave half a billion people who aren't middle class.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 11:06 AM on August 19, 2011


I was 19 and at my most conservative during the recall campaign against Gray Davis (according to the guy doing exit polling I was the only person he'd talked to all day to have voted against the recall but for the most conservative candidate, Tom McClintock) and I couldn't stand the sight of Darrell Issa. The profile koeselitz linked to goes some way towards showing just what a twisted and craven man he is.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 11:06 AM on August 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hai guyz. PROTIP: If you are making a kickass comment (whilst using Firefox) and you are in another tab and mean to come back to good ol' mefi to paste your link you just grabbed, you either hit Ctrl-Shift-T to come back, or Ctrl-W to close the current tab.

BUT FOR GODS SAKE DO NOT HIT CTRL-SHIFT-W.
posted by symbioid at 11:12 AM on August 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


> What great insider info you've got! It's funny that you're telling us this, rather than informing the NLRB,
> whose job it is to investigate these things.

Color me confused. Are you saying overseas outsourcing doesn't happen much? Or that it does happen and the fix is to tell the NLRB about it? Or what? Thanks.
posted by jfuller at 11:20 AM on August 19, 2011


It cannot close, and reopen elsewhere or under another name.

I like unions and all, but that's unenforceable.


No, it is perfectly enforceable.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:29 AM on August 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Darrell Issa is no different than a swamp leech stuck on a large animal, sucking and sucking and sucking with utterly mindless rapacity, with absolutely no sense of proportion or perspective, only endless hunger. He's a chimpanzee swatting at weaker, hungrier chimps who try to get some of his hoard of oranges. He's like a dragon sitting atop a mountain of gold and incinerating anyone who comes near it. He's ludicrous, he's like a caricature of avarice and unconscionable governmental/private sector collusion. And he's worth almost half a billion dollars.

This is exactly what modern government was meant to fix: totally craven, boundlessly corrupt entrenched powers that vampirically bled millions dry for just a few million more, forever, until someone stopped them. He himself embodies a complete failure of everything that government should be doing to protect and safeguard everyone's interests.
posted by clockzero at 11:29 AM on August 19, 2011 [20 favorites]


It cannot close, and reopen elsewhere

Sure it can. American factory work gets shipped to China all the time.


But not during a strike, is what I think the point is.
posted by DU at 11:33 AM on August 19, 2011


In 2003, Issa, who was now worth more than a hundred million dollars, funded the recall of the state’s governor, Gray Davis. It was an ambitious project. Davis, who had been elected to a second term six months earlier, had not committed an impeachable offense; he simply had become unpopular.

And a big, Big, BIG "fuck you" to you, Issa, for helping to give us two terms of that idiot and fuck-up Schwarzenegger.

On August 7, 2003, Issa visited the office of the San Diego County registrar of voters, where he was expected to file the paperwork for a gubernatorial campaign. Facing a scrum of cameras, he announced that he wasn’t running. Instead, he tearfully explained, he had decided to devote his life to finding peace in the Middle East.

And I remember this, crying like a little baby because Arnold blew your chances at governor out of the water (he--Arnold--had announced his candidacy the night before, on Jay Leno). fuck you again
posted by MikeKD at 11:34 AM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


BUT FOR GODS SAKE DO NOT HIT CTRL-SHIFT-W.

Hey symboid... maybe... MAYBE JUST MAYBE... you could mention what this does.
posted by graventy at 11:37 AM on August 19, 2011


Turns your font into some nifty UTF-8 unicorns?
posted by Fezboy! at 11:40 AM on August 19, 2011


Issa is almost a perfect villain, to the point of being cartoonish.

I swear, there's a cabal of conservative moneybags sitting around a table somewhere, smoking cigars and drinking scotch, chortling, "We'll never get this one past 'em!"


And yet they do, every time.
posted by dave78981 at 11:48 AM on August 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Currently, the NRLB is telling them that they have to move production back to Washington. Boeing hopes for a more generous settlement, as does South Carolina. NRLB will probably acquiesce and seek a compromise keeping both open, which will allow Boeing to slowly bleed off Washington to South Carolina.

Its funny in a way but neither of those options would really work. There is currently enough of a backlog of 787 orders that Boeing needs both the Everett and SC plants running at capacity just to stop bleeding future sales due to cancellations. There isn't any room at the Everett plant for the expansion they would need to replace the SC facility and sites that could take a brand new factory like the Charleston plant are pretty thin on the ground around Seattle.

They could dedicate Everett to Dreamliners and run flat-out for the next 10 years and still not clear the backlog. Any shift in production from WA to SC is at least 15 years before it could start assuming no new orders. Boeing really, really needed additional 787 production lines, union issues were a secondary (but oh-so-visible) thing. That is solid jobs in crappy economic times. Shame they went the way they did, the side issues are now the story and you know that it will be a guy with a wrench somewhere that gets hosed.
posted by N-stoff at 11:49 AM on August 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


CTRL-SHIFT-W - Close current Firefox window. Allow me to demonstrate... *click* *dialtone*
posted by m@f at 11:49 AM on August 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Since those of us here in Washington knew this was EXACTLY what Boeing was doing -- I mean, they couldn't have made it more clear that the move was to punish the union for their last strike -- I think it is safe to say we are all politely applauding.

Now what? Do we get those jobs back?
posted by bearwife at 11:51 AM on August 19, 2011


"union issues were a secondary (but oh-so-visible) thing."

As was mentioned in the radio show and in the Lithwick article, part of Boeing's problem was a video of the CEO saying that was the primary thing.
posted by klangklangston at 11:53 AM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


They didn't keep it here, they outsourced overseas as much as they could.
(Then they found out the hard way that the hidden costs of the outsourcing vastly outweighed the savings. Last I heard, their New New Hotness plan was to move most of that production back to the USA)


The rumor inside Boeing is that only the most basic fab work could be outsourced, and the pressure from the DoD to bring it back in country was significant. Anything that had any remote defense uses (for example, all of the Dreamliner electronics) never left.

On the other hand I only know engineering staff over there, not execs. The actual situation is probably more complicated.
“Sure it can. American factory work gets shipped to China all the time.”
What great insider info you've got!


There's nothing insider about it. I've spent my adult life in the Silicon Valley watching the fabrication plants slowly dwindle while friends get laid off, and watching the hardware supply chains shift to Thailand and now China. The company names don't change, just the address the components arrive from.

I'm not sure what industry you work in, but for electronic components you now deal with Asia or not at all.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:54 AM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


But not during a strike, is what I think the point is.

Ah, good point.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:56 AM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


As was mentioned in the radio show and in the Lithwick article, part of Boeing's problem was a video of the CEO saying that was the primary thing.

That's the funny thing. This dude gets paid millions of dollars to run this company, and really shit the bed with his decision to do this illegal thing, and then his willingness to publicly state that he did an illegal thing.

That sort of gross incompetence would get any else fired, union or not.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:58 AM on August 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought the out-sourcing was more about being outside of Boeing, not outside of the US; essentially turn Boeing into something like ARM is for processors (ie, licenses out designs, etc, but other companies actually make the things). and I think you mean Taiwan, not Thailand
posted by MikeKD at 11:59 AM on August 19, 2011


and I think you mean Taiwan, not Thailand

Whups. :-)
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:05 PM on August 19, 2011


As was mentioned in the radio show and in the Lithwick article, part of Boeing's problem was a video of the CEO saying that was the primary thing.

Yeah, superb foot-in-mouth there. I do think he was playing to the crowd with that statement though (and I did a poor job of articulating my thoughts with that). Boeing had to expand 787 production somewhere and a new plant was getting built whether there was a union involved or not.
posted by N-stoff at 12:06 PM on August 19, 2011


Boeing had to expand 787 production somewhere and a new plant was getting built whether there was a union involved or not

Yeah - and here's the reason we need an NLRB with teeth - modern corporations are always going to pick the unions not involved route.

The corporation is perfectly capable of saying " We've got a great backlog and we're all shitting in tall cotton now. We want to thank our workforce who helped make all this possible. It's been such a success we're gonna keep dancing with the ones what brought us here. If Boeing succeeds, everybody succeeds. Thanks again."

What they almost always say these days is, "Fuck you workers. You're ungrateful and too expensive. We need to squeeze more out of this operation. Kiss our ass and be grateful you have a job."

That kind of attitude is killing our economy.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:25 PM on August 19, 2011 [16 favorites]


If you're interested the NLRA is posted here.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:28 PM on August 19, 2011


Ironmouth:

I'm curious - what is the legal justification for state right-to-work laws trumping the NLRA?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:44 PM on August 19, 2011


In other Issa news: Goldman Sachs VP Changed His Name, Now Advances Goldman Lobbying Interests As Top Staffer To Darrell Issa
posted by homunculus at 12:49 PM on August 19, 2011


Ironmouth:

I'm curious - what is the legal justification for state right-to-work laws trumping the NLRA?


I don't see how it can. Once you've got the interstate hook, the NLRA takes precedence under the Supremacy Clause.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:56 PM on August 19, 2011


Ironmouth:

I'm curious - what is the legal justification for state right-to-work laws trumping the NLRA?
--
I don't see how it can. Once you've got the interstate hook, the NLRA takes precedence under the Supremacy Clause.


Just to expand on that, the definition provided by the NLRA for commerce is the key point (I think I have this right):
(6) The term "commerce" means trade, traffic, commerce, transportation, or communication among the several States, or between the District of Columbia or any Territory of the United States and any State or other Territory, or between any foreign country and any State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, or within the District of Columbia or any Territory, or between points in the same State but through any other State or any Territory or the District of Columbia or any foreign country.

So as far as the NLRA is concerned, if you're not doing business inter-state, it's not a matter of concern. Then the right-to-work comes in and sets the law. If you are doing such business, both the NLRA & the right-to-work apply, Supremacy takes place and the NLRA trumps.
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:04 PM on August 19, 2011


Tell Me No Lies:About the only ray of hope for the American line worker is that China is developing a large middle class and things are getting more expensive there all the time.

The race to the bottom always seems to have a new contestant lacing up their sneakers.
posted by dr_dank at 1:07 PM on August 19, 2011


The race to the bottom always seems to have a new contestant lacing up their sneakers.

Yes, but a rising tide lifts all boats amirite? AMIRITE?
posted by entropicamericana at 1:29 PM on August 19, 2011


About the only ray of hope for the American line worker is that China is developing a large middle class and things are getting more expensive there all the time.

I'm pretty sure that ray of light will be shining elsewhere, if China's native labor actually becomes too expensive. They've been pretty damned active in Africa, for instance.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:30 PM on August 19, 2011


Yes, but a rising tide lifts all boats amirite? AMIRITE?

Except the ones with holes in 'em.
posted by klanawa at 1:43 PM on August 19, 2011


In other Issa news: Goldman Sachs VP Changed His Name, Now Advances Goldman Lobbying Interests As Top Staffer To Darrell Issa

This is missing an important piece of context.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:46 PM on August 19, 2011


Issa’s [...] voice, which he recorded for the company’s signature product, the Viper, an alarm that warns potential car thieves (as well as passing trucks and bursts of wind), “Please step away from the car.”
That guy is the "Please step away from the car" guy? Bleh.
posted by epersonae at 2:01 PM on August 19, 2011


Let's see.

No union jobs would have been lost, since production is still continuing in Washington.

Boeing has a significant backlog of Dreamliners, so much so there was no way they could build them all in Washington.

They don't have enough room to build an expansion in Washington.

The new plant would have a shitload of jobs for the area in South Carolina. Not union jobs, but pretty high paying for the area, and long term ones with the potential for unionization later.

NLRB says to Boeing "Fuck you, fuck SC, fuck your non-union jobs, fuck your investment, fuck your backlog - fucking build those fucking flying dildos in Washington, and too the fuck bad if you lose business because you can't fucking build enough of those fuckers for your fucking customers."

Yeah, I can see how that's reasonable.

Uh... not.

I'm sure the folks in SC appreciate how their unemployment will be good for the union. In the long run, they'll understand how screwing them over will benefit everyone, even if it means a few more decades of poverty and low wages.
posted by JB71 at 2:11 PM on August 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, but a rising tide lifts all boats amirite? AMIRITE?

I don't own a boat.
posted by Max Power at 2:12 PM on August 19, 2011


This is missing an important piece of context.

Good point. Here's TP's response: "ThinkProgress never ascribed any motivation for why Haller changed his name, and we accept his explanation. The basic fact remains, however, that his name change made it difficult to identify him as a former Goldman Sachs VP. So while he worked for Chairman Issa on issues directly assisting a top Goldman Sachs lobbying goal — namely, to weaken new Dodd-Frank regulations — the public was unaware that he previously worked in the compliance division of Goldman. That was the key point of our original post, and it remains unchallenged."
posted by homunculus at 2:16 PM on August 19, 2011


NLRB says to Boeing "Fuck you, fuck SC, fuck your non-union jobs, fuck your investment, fuck your backlog - fucking build those fucking flying dildos in Washington, and too the fuck bad if you lose business because you can't fucking build enough of those fuckers for your fucking customers."


A Boeing official is on the record that they put the plant in South Carolina to retaliate for prior strikes. This is against the law.

all the laws need to be enforced, not just the ones that a particular person likes.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:24 PM on August 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


NLRB says to Boeing "Fuck you, fuck SC, fuck your non-union jobs, fuck your investment, fuck your backlog - fucking build those fucking flying dildos in Washington, and too the fuck bad if you lose business because you can't fucking build enough of those fuckers for your fucking customers."

1. They broke the law. They knew they were breaking the law. They bragged about breaking the law. And yet they did it anyway.

2. These are good jobs. Skilled manufacturing jobs. Jobs that are required to be done here. If we let these jobs be a race to the bottom, where do you think the truly shitty jobs are going to go? It hurts everybody to go backwards.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:37 PM on August 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Lemurrhea: "So as far as the NLRA is concerned, if you're not doing business inter-state, it's not a matter of concern. Then the right-to-work comes in and sets the law. If you are doing such business, both the NLRA & the right-to-work apply, Supremacy takes place and the NLRA trumps."

I love how selective the interpretation of the commerce clause can be. Growing wheat for your own consumption? You're affecting inter-state wheat prices, commerce clause trumps. Writing union-busting labor laws? That surely must only affect labor rates within your state and nowhere else, carry on.
posted by mullingitover at 2:42 PM on August 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I love how selective the interpretation of the commerce clause can be. Growing wheat for your own consumption? You're affecting inter-state wheat prices, commerce clause trumps. Writing union-busting labor laws? That surely must only affect labor rates within your state and nowhere else, carry on.

You misunderstand. the Dreamliner is destined to be sold throughout the world and in many U.S. States. The parts come from around the world and many other U.S. states. The idea that this is not interstate commerce is laughable.

The laws being passed in SC have nothing to do with the analysis of whether or not Boeing is engaged in "commerce" as defined in the law.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:47 PM on August 19, 2011


OK, America. How long do we have until All jobs wind up in third world countries ? Do we really believe we can force someone to pay more than market value for our labor?
posted by crushedhope at 4:57 PM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: We need to squeeze more out of this operation.
posted by sneebler at 5:14 PM on August 19, 2011


JB71: “No union jobs would have been lost, since production is still continuing in Washington.”

Ha! That's a good one. Tell me another.
posted by koeselitz at 5:16 PM on August 19, 2011


OK, America. How long do we have until All jobs wind up in third world countries ? Do we really believe we can force someone to pay more than market value for our labor?

What market value are you referring to? Because if we have to compete with third world countries, that's the market value that's important, apparently.

Who do you think determines market value of labor? The free-market fairies?

What needs to be done is make it a lot more fucking difficult for American companies to utilize other labor markets. If an American company uses foreign labor to produce a product that they sell here, then they have chosen to be an importer. They need to pay an import tariff and a punitive tax for gaming the system - biting the hand that feeds them.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:17 PM on August 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


OK, America. How long do we have until All jobs wind up in third world countries ? Do we really believe we can force someone to pay more than market value for our labor?

The only person who can ask this must be someone who doesn't feel their job is threatened by cheaper foreign labor. Why is there a revolt against the idea that someone can have a skilled job and is paid a livable wage? Why must Americans compete directly against a Chinese living standard, or a South American one? I suppose some want it that way, if only because they can feel like they're getting ahead because someone else is losing.
posted by l2p at 5:35 PM on August 19, 2011


I really enjoy it when the unions fight to stop people from working.
posted by gjc at 6:28 PM on August 19, 2011


I really enjoy it when the unions fight to stop people from working.

Management does it all the time.

Corporate boards tell us endlessly that they have to pay exorbitant salaries to attract talent.

Financial titans talk about stock dilution all the time. More shares makes each share worth less.

Unions get it. If you sit back quietly and let a company have others workers do your job cheaper, then your value goes down. And, by extension, every worker's value goes down.

It's about fairness and equity, not pettiness. And it matters to everybody, whether they know it or not. Our economic future depends on a majority of us waking up to the realities.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:43 PM on August 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


I really enjoy it when the unions fight to stop people from working.
I enjoy it when the union in this instance is stopping people from undercutting other peoples' wages. In this case it's $15/hr vs $26. With $3.3 billion net profit in 2010, can Boeing manage?
posted by l2p at 6:48 PM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really enjoy it when the unions fight to stop people from working.

Oh my yes, that's just what they're doing when they go on strike, amirite? And corporations using scabs to undercut unions are just trying to keep local unemployment rates down? I suspect that you have never held a job that was eligible for union representation.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 6:57 PM on August 19, 2011


No, they are free to strike all the want, since that affects them as much as it does management. Unless we are paying people to go on strike now. But to tell a bunch of people in SC they can't have a job because someone in WA got pissed at Boeing is just plain awful. Especially using the power of a quasi-governmental agency. If they want progress, they should try to organize the people in SC and get them to go on strike.

If someone thinks they can do the job cheaper, by all means, they should be able to. It is basic economics. You buy the thing that gives you the most value. If the people making $26 an hour do better work than the people making $15, then nobody would have anything to worry about. If they don't, then they are in an untenable situation, and extorting money from "management" can only last so long. It isn't about how much profit the company makes, because that's their money, not yours. It isn't like the people at the coffee place charge me more when I get a raise at work. Until they stop making people, labor will always be a commodity.

No, I've never been a member of a union. I prefer to set my own value for my work, and negotiate my own contracts.

Also, the word scab is offensive. How dare you impugn people who just want to work?
posted by gjc at 7:20 PM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bravo, gjc. Bravo.
posted by wierdo at 7:37 PM on August 19, 2011


gjc: “But to tell a bunch of people in SC they can't have a job because someone in WA got pissed at Boeing is just plain awful. Especially using the power of a quasi-governmental agency.”

It may be a quasi-governmental agency, but Boeing broke the law. There is very little doubt of this. I'll say it again: they broke the law. If they broke the law by building a plant that wasn't up to code in SC, and SC workers lost their jobs because the plant fell apart, who would you blame? That's right: Boeing.

South Carolina workers are losing their jobs because Boeing broke the law. If you're upset about the lost jobs, you have lots of options: you can blame Boeing (who is actually to blame for these lost jobs); you can lobby to change the law if you don't like it; you can throw up your hands at the whole process if you want.

But you cannot blame the NLRB for point out the true fact that Boeing broke the law. It is Boeing's fault that workers are losing their jobs. Blame should go where blame is due.
posted by koeselitz at 9:04 PM on August 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


"No, they are free to strike all the want, since that affects them as much as it does management. Unless we are paying people to go on strike now. But to tell a bunch of people in SC they can't have a job because someone in WA got pissed at Boeing is just plain awful. Especially using the power of a quasi-governmental agency. If they want progress, they should try to organize the people in SC and get them to go on strike."

Well, actually, it's telling Boeing that they can't move operations within the US to get away from labor law.

And I'll remind you of something else, something that the Boeing CEO said: "No one is entitled to a job." If you're gonna reframe this as somehow unions stopping other people from working (rather than Boeing being punished for breaking the law and being brazen about it), then you have to cosign that lack of entitlement and tell the South Carolinians to go screw, otherwise you're a hypocrite.

Pitting workers against each other is a strategy that only ends up furthering the wealth disparity that exists in this country, and for someone who is generally so concerned with the rule of law that you regularly endorse absurd conclusions, I find it telling that you somehow forget that when the law involves protecting working men and women.

"If someone thinks they can do the job cheaper, by all means, they should be able to. It is basic economics. You buy the thing that gives you the most value. If the people making $26 an hour do better work than the people making $15, then nobody would have anything to worry about."

Oh, simplistic thinking, is there anything you can't justify for the privileged?

If someone wants to sell tainted food, they should be able to. After all, it's simple economics. If people don't like it, they won't buy it. If children want to work, they should be able to. Simple economics. Tragedy of the commons — simple economics. Sweatshop labor, simple economics. Company coal towns? Simple economics.

"No, I've never been a member of a union. I prefer to set my own value for my work, and negotiate my own contracts."

Hi, entitled, privileged nonsense. Guess what? Unions also set their own value for their own work.

"Also, the word scab is offensive. How dare you impugn people who just want to work?"

How dare I? How dare you impugn people who want to work for a just wage? Scab is an offensive word for an offensive practice.
posted by klangklangston at 9:12 PM on August 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


gjc, everything you say in this post betrays a complete lack of understanding of the purposes of trade unions. As well as the history of corporations trying to eliminate decent wages and, by extension, the middle class. Your idiotic concept that earning a living wage is somehow "extorting" money from corporations is so mindbendingly lacking in understanding of what happens in the real world that I suspect you're living in your parent's basement and don't have to work for a living.

My use of the word "scab" offends you? Curiously, almost everything you say in your post offends me. Guess we're even.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 10:33 PM on August 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Koeslitz - How about this?

The company says it will "vigorously contest" the complaint and the company's General Counsel, J. Michael Luttig says: "This claim is legally frivolous and represents a radical departure from both NLRB and Supreme Court precedent. Boeing has every right under both federal law and its collective bargaining agreement to build additional U.S. production capacity outside of the Puget Sound region."

The NLRB says, "The complaint does not seek closure of the South Carolina facility, nor does it prohibit Boeing from assembling planes there."

The South Carolina facility will support Boeing's plan to ramp 787 production by contributing three of the ten planned monthly aircraft by the end of 2013.


http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2011/04/21/355891/nlrb-files-complaint-against-boeing-for-second-787-line.html

Funny, seems you were under the impression that the SC facility was to replace the one in Washington, while I was thinking it was to supplement.

Looks like Boeing's going ahead, however, with the hiring.

http://www2.wspa.com/news/2011/aug/12/boeing-prepares-hire-more-workers-sc-plant-ar-2266097/

The political sparring is getting intense.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/08/19/2367012/political-dispute-over-boeing.html

I think that personalities are getting involved in a "Fuck it - they're not going to win if we've got to nuke SC!" way rather than simply arguing the law and looking to come to a consensus. I don't automatically see the NLRB as being on the side of the angels, neither do I see Boeing as that. If Boeing was going to move the whole line to SC, I could see where they might have had a point. As it is, they aren't and there's no plans to.

I do think we're getting to a position in our history where the almost pro forma automatic accusation of 'racism!' or 'union busting!' needs to be looked at with as neutral an eye as possible, and with the understanding that the people accusing it will always have something to gain from their accusations, while the investigating MIGHT have something to gain, depending on leanings.

I've heard it reported numerous times that no union jobs would be lost with the SC expansion - what I've found on the net seems to confirm that. Operations in Washington will continue on - doing 7 planes a month. How does this hurt the union?

Boeing doesn't trust the union to not strike again. That seems like a pretty smart attitude to me. They're spreading their operations so they won't be shut down if they do. Again, that's smart. They're treating the union like an unreasoning, unpredictable force of nature - maybe smart and maybe not - but it's clear that the union will do what it thinks best for the members, not for a union-Boeing symbiotic relationship.
posted by JB71 at 11:05 PM on August 19, 2011


Dang. That should have been to koeselitz. It's late, my fingers are sleepy...
posted by JB71 at 11:07 PM on August 19, 2011


JB71: “Funny, seems you were under the impression that the SC facility was to replace the one in Washington, while I was thinking it was to supplement.”

Right. Because, once there's a non-union plant in South Carolina, Boeing is going to keep all of its major projects in Washington out of the goodness of its heart.

JB71: “Boeing doesn't trust the union to not strike again. That seems like a pretty smart attitude to me. They're spreading their operations so they won't be shut down if they do. Again, that's smart.”

I don't think you understand what you're saying. You're saying that Boeing is hoping to shrug off further strikes by keeping production up in South Carolina. What you're saying is that Boeing will be happy to close the Washington plant and lose all those jobs. So apparently you agree that Boeing is planning to kill the jobs in Washington – you just seem happy (as I'm sure Boeing will be) to blame this job loss on the unions.
posted by koeselitz at 7:39 AM on August 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, Koeselitz -

What you're saying is that Boeing will be happy to close the Washington plant and lose all those jobs. So apparently you agree that Boeing is planning to kill the jobs in Washington – you just seem happy (as I'm sure Boeing will be) to blame this job loss on the unions.

That's what YOU are saying I'm saying, and you're intentionally mis-stating what I posted.

If you've got any business that has a massive, MASSIVE investment in one state, and you've got factors that will occasionally and unpredictably shut it down for short periods of time - whether it be earthquake, hurricanes, zombie attacks or strikes - and you need to keep production going you will, if you've got enough business to warrant it and the spare cash/credit/orders backlogged, set up more than one plant.

If a strike hits Washington, they can keep some production going in SC until the strike is over. Their 737, 747, 767, and 777 lines will be shut, but there'll still be some 787s built.

Boeing is maxed out in Washington. Boeing looks for someplace else to build. SC says "Build an annex here - we'll give you shitloads of tax breaks." Boeing adds capacity, SC adds jobs, everyone's happy except the unions who apparently feel owed control of the entire manufacturing process.

Why didn't they build in Washington? I can think of two reasons off the top of my head - no affordable contiguous land in the vicinity of the plants (aircraft plants can't just be put anywhere) and no tax breaks for building. (Hey, Washington's already GOT Boeing. You think they're gonna give them any breaks for building?)

Boeing can't close the Washington facilities (there's two of them, by the way - making 737s, 747s, 767s, 777s, and with the addition of the Dreamliner the 787) since there's not enough capacity in SC to take all the production, and it was never designed to in the first place.

Click here for the product line.

Washington's a full 50 gallon bucket - SC is a 5-gallon overflow for one type of plane. Boeing closes the Washington facilities, and they gut themselves. They CANNOT replace the Washington infrastructure without a whole lot more investment and building than they've done.

I don't much care what the union spin is - the reality is that Boeing isn't going to be moving out of Washington. Union jobs aren't going to be lost.

And planes will be built in SC.
posted by JB71 at 5:54 PM on August 20, 2011


JB71 wrote: Why didn't they build in Washington? I can think of two reasons off the top of my head - no affordable contiguous land in the vicinity of the plants (aircraft plants can't just be put anywhere)

That's quite the double standard. Clearly, the new plant being in the vicinity of the old is not a requirement, otherwise they wouldn't have built the new one very nearly as far as physically possible from the old one while still siting it in the lower 48.
posted by wierdo at 7:47 PM on August 20, 2011


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