March 18, 2009
Keeping Boeing

It's a serious question. Organized labor's recent and repeated attempts to ram through a "worker privacy" bill are but another example of that interest group insisting on legislation when there is a lot more at stake than they publicly acknowledge.

Labor unions claim it's all about workers rights, but they never quite explain how every other state gets along fine without such a law or that the legislation allows workers the right to refrain from attending company-organized meetings if they have the "reasonable belief" topics such as religion or politics will be discussed. Raise your hand if don't think "reasonable belief" isn't a definition just dying to be loosely construed.

Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon and Washington Roundtable Chairman Steve Mullin John Stanton touched on the importance of working with Boeing in a recent, joint op-ed for the Everett Herald:

"Location is a choice." That was the message Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Scott Carson delivered to hundreds of business and community leaders during a luncheon last November. In that address, Carson made clear that our state cannot take its largest employer for granted.

This is no stunt. It's reality. The competition to land the next line of Boeing planes, and to continue being home to a major portion of Boeing's workforce, is real. Kansas, South Carolina and Alabama are already building aerospace worker training facilities in hopes of luring the aerospace giant.

Meaning, the Legislature can't afford to roll the dice by implementing organized labor's grandiose wish list, even as Boeing is clearly saying things aren't dandy here in the Evergreen State (discussed in the past at SP here and here).

This is not exactly an unimportant issue with the state's unemployment rate still rising, and the localized unemployment rate around Boeing's commercial airlines hub in Snohomish County soaring.

Labor leaders can talk all they want about worker "rights." What this issue is really about now is Olympia sending a message to Boeing that the state is actually interested in continuing to be a welcome place for tens of thousands of Boeing jobs, "not another dime from labor" or not.

UPDATE: attribution to John Stanton fixed. Mind thinking faster than typing fingers originally supplanted WA Roundtable President Steve Mullin instead.

Posted by Eric Earling at March 18, 2009 05:40 PM | Email This
1. Olympia can always be more business friendly but Virgin Air's Branson spoke plainly. Strikes kill the deal. Unionists should look at Michigan and choose a different course, but they see a different reality, incorrectly. Not unions fault they say. Au Contraire.

I expect Boeing to go to a right to work state. Several are gearing up to welcome Boeing now.

Posted by: Bwana on March 18, 2009 07:46 PM
2. Washington State should be a Right to Work State. It is Unconstitutional and Criminal to deny any Individual or Group from their Freedom of Choice to refuse to join a Union if they so desire. What kind of Stalinist Crap is it that, a Union can force you to join their ranks and pay their dues and when, the Union decides to go on Strike, you are forced to do so whether, you agree or not? If you have Bills to pay so things aren't repossessed, foreclosed and continue to provide a roof over your family's head with food on the table....That is not your Right?...But the Unions have the right to deny you the Right to Work and pay the Bills? The Unions have Removed a Basic Freedom from this State...The Right to Work! This State should return this State to a Right to Work State and the Communist Unions can go to Hell!

Posted by: Daniel on March 18, 2009 10:04 PM
3. I used to be on the union roster and I would support right to work legislation. It seems the union leaders live in a different world than the rest of us.

It's a world where the employer is an evil overlord bent on dominating the world and the union is the only defense against the destruction of the little guy. Meanwhile, I have bills to pay and my manager is a really nice guy. My employer bends over backward to give me opportunities and encourages me take more responsibility. Not to mention, they reward me when I do. It's a symbiotic relationship, not a parasitic one.

Does the union representation mean better negotiating? Bullshit, they're a bunch of doormats. What a bunch of losers.

It wouldn't be hard to choose between my employer and a union.

Posted by: M_Magee on March 18, 2009 11:21 PM
4. I think Boeing should leave so WA can become like MI. The Union management will be happy to shoot themselves in the both feet, just to get unrealistic wages and benefits for their workers.

Meanwhile, on the "location is a choice" theme, note how more and more of the Boeing design can be outsourced and built outside the US. Why pay the high cost of union workers, when you can find "right to work" and "open shop" countries all around you, with citizens who are more than happy to work at a reasonable wage.

The unions are just one of the many self destructive forces that have created the spoiled, procrastinating, credit obsessed, Progressive culture of the US.

Posted by: Jeff B. on March 18, 2009 11:23 PM
5. Boeing should "go Galt" on WA state.

Posted by: Crusader on March 19, 2009 12:27 AM
6. I paid dues to the International Association of Machinists for nearly 25 years and was even a steward for several years. Unions have played a major role in establishing the 8-hour standard workday and guaranteeing safe working conditions and environment.

I broke with the union in 2001 over IAM's increasingly radical and leftist political stances. I did so by sending a point-blank letter to union leadership that (I was told) ended up on Union President Buffenbarger's desk that same day. I never received a response from him regarding my grievances with the union, although I asked for one.

My position today is that unions:

1. Have outlived their usefulness, as federal and state labor laws now provide what unions initially fought for.

2. Have bankrupted the American auto industry with strikes/threats that caused weak-willed executives to grant benefits and concessions that destroyed those companies' ability to compete with non-union manufacturers.

3. Are nothing other than communist/socialist fronts for government takeover of private corporations.

4. Will give Boeing no choice but to move industrial operations to right-to-work states.

5. Will increase their political influence as Democrats "re-pay" union leadership for huge campaign donations and union members for agressive "doorbelling".

6. Will gain increasing power in the public employee sector, as corrupt politicians like Christine Gregoire trade patronage for campaign donations.

7. Become increasingly violent if their demands are not met. Obama has a tiger by the tail and he's either to stupid to know it or he's complicit with organized labors' intentions...which include virtual overthrow of the U.S. government and replacement with communist plutocracy.

Final Note: Union members may not need to march the streets for communism, however, as 51% of Americans willingly voted for such on November 4, 2008.

Posted by: Saltherring on March 19, 2009 07:01 AM
7. Look, I have no faith in the good will of big business towards it's employees- I've seen to much mistreatment to have that faith.

However, I have even less faith in the good will of unions toward union workers, as I have seen even more mistreatment by unions than I have by employers.

Whether the wolf beats the mountain lion, or the lion beats the wolf- it matters little to the deer which one eats him.

That said- unions don't provide jobs and don't pay me the money I need to put food on the table. Businesses do. So I figure whatever we do, we don't want to chase the businesses away- cause that's even worse then being exploited.

Posted by: Cicero on March 19, 2009 09:15 AM
8. I hear South Carolina is nice, and still a GOP state. I'd love to be able to leave this liberal hellhole of a state and move to SC. Go for it Boeing! WA and Gregoire's knee jerk liberals don't deserve you!

Posted by: 2010dreaming on March 19, 2009 09:24 AM
9. I am proud to say I have never joined a union. I have always negotiated my own employment terms with each employer and if the company management didn't treat me fairly, I went and got another job. But then again, I am a skilled worker in a field that requires a degree and years of training.

For those of you who dream of Washington ever being a right to work state: I wouldn't hold your breath. As long as the public schools keep cranking out kids who can't pass the basic math portion of standardized tests such as the WASL, we're going to have legions of unskilled workers who will see unions as the only means to force the economics of employment in their favor.

If there ever was a conspiracy theory, it is this: Democrats protect the teacher's union and prevent anything from ever forcing the teachers to actually do their jobs well. Thus we have generations of kids growing up without even basic skills and creating a massive undereducated and unskilled workforce that is reliant on the government to survive. Who is government is there to help them? That's right...Democrats.

People wonder why I *hate* the victimology and anti-free market ideas of liberalism. Democrats always come down in favor of legislation and abuses of governmental power that pervert our society into a Democrat voter making machine. Who cares if it destroys our position in the world. Who cares that they are accelerating the regression toward the mean. Who cares that we're creating generations of citizens who can barely eat, sleep and long as they cast their votes for Democrats. It makes me sick.

I have just as much ire aimed at Republicans who preach from the voting booth so don't think I'm a Republican either.

Posted by: blindman on March 19, 2009 09:34 AM
10. Unions protect us workers against the evil big businesses!!!

Posted by: Crusader on March 19, 2009 09:42 AM
11. When are we going to start the part of the middle. A party where common sense and a dedication to fight abuses of government power succeeds in restoring liberty while walking the middle ground.

We need a party that:

- thinks right to work laws are reasonable (traditionally Republican/Libertarian).

- thinks that deregulating marriage is reasonable since it is a religious institution and having government manage it has resulted in unequal treatment of homosexuals (traditionally Liberal/Democrat).

- that can see our federal drug prohibitions are not only unconstitutional but the root cause of much of our violence and corruption in society.

- that would call GM's bluff and let them go bankrupt so that they can do the house cleaning they so desperately need.

- that would laugh legislation like card check out of congress.

- that would understand the constitutional limits of the federal government and would leave it to the states to experiment with social policy and new legislative ideas because the competition between the states creates an aggressive market for ideas, curbing potential government abuses and truly vetting new government policies. (Tenncare anyone? California's socialist taxation racket?)

- that fights to protect religious freedom and free speech but politely insists that legislation not be rigged in favor of one religion or the other.

- that insists that public funding for education is important but that the public school system should face competition to ensure quality. We all insist on picking the best car mechanic or airline, but when it comes to our kids, the government monopoly that consistently produces substandard results is just fine. Look at what happened to the post office when the government allowed competition in the form of UPS and FedEx...The post office got much more efficient...(my netflix turnaround time averages about 2 days!)

I'm starting to think that a central party that borrows from all of the existing parties could be a powerful player. It certainly would go a long way to moderate the wild fluctuations back and forth between one-party rule by Republicans and then one-party rule by Democrats. I would *love* to see both the Rs and the Ds have to wheel and deal with a central party to have a majority.

Posted by: blindman on March 19, 2009 09:54 AM
12. Good Post...Saltherring @9. Thank you for the enlightenment. However, there are other elements that are destroying American corporations ability to compete in the World Markets. You mentioned weak-willed executives. How about, executives that have no right to hold their positions within the Company? Executives that are not qualified nor up to the job in dispensing their responsibilities? Yes, the Sad Truth is, as Corporations age beyond the founders direct participation, they are at risk of having the management becoming less than what was originally established. Meaning, that management can become contaminated with the politics of corruption. People are moved into positions not, because of merit but, because of who they know and held hands with resulting, in weak direction and poor business policies which begin to limit the growth and burden the health of the Company. They begin to cooperate among themselves in ripping off the Company with excessive pay and bonuses. Their lack of moral values allows them to more readily give in to Union demands, further degrading the ability of the Company to compete and survive and eventually the Company is destroyed.

The Capital System allows these Companies to rise and fall on their prudent management or lack thereof and be replaced with new Companies. But, when Government takes your hard earned money and rewards failure to keep these Beasts alive....That is Socialism.

Posted by: Daniel on March 19, 2009 10:12 AM
13. OOPS...I meant to say Saltherring @6

Posted by: Daniel on March 19, 2009 10:16 AM
14. I think most people can relate to bonuses. You do a better job than what was expected, then you get a bonus. But when a company taking taxpayer money gives bonuses to people who - were it not for those taxpayer dollars, would have presided over the death by mismanagement of their company, THAT is where said taxpayers have a right to get angry. Who do we blame?
How about Chris Dodd, Sec. Geithner, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid? They are the one's who forced this legislation through over Republican objections. The bill was huge, yet no one read the whole thing because there was no time allowed by these Democrats. No time to debate the bill's content was allowed either. When did we decide in this country you could spend a Trillion dollars with NO DEBATE, NO READING of the bill, and NO PUBLIC INPUT?
This is the USA under Democrats, Demo Kid. How do you like it? How do you like bonuses paid to Executives that exceed by many times the life earnings of thousands of taxpaying families. How many more of our dollars and our freedoms will be voted away with NO READING, and NO DEBATE?
Is this the "Change" you voted for Demo Kid? Stop calling people names and EXPLAIN YOUR PARTY! Republicans have no power. This is YOUR BABY Demo. Tell us all why this is good! Do you think actually "reading legislation and having debate" is some radical right wing whacko idea?

Posted by: 2010Dreaming on March 19, 2009 10:45 AM
15. My best pay and benefits have always been in non union positions where those who produce can be rewarded. Every union position I have been in as a skilled trade has held me back from being promoted according to my quality and quantity of work, while at the same time, those who refused to work in the best interests of the employer were protected by the union.

Posted by: joebandmember on March 21, 2009 02:20 AM
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