If it’s Boeing, it could be going!

I’m going out on the skinny branches here.  Perhaps it’s because I’m on the outside, but I’m completely puzzled by the Boeing machinists who think voting down the contract offer is a good idea.

Now, don’t get me wrong, you do great work.  You’re professional.  You deserve the best.  But in case you haven’t looked around, the world has changed.  Just because your rank and file received something in the past doesn’t guarantee it for you and future machinists.  It just isn’t realistic. A pension?  I’ve never even imagined having one.

So, you have choice. Vote no on the contract offer because you think it’s unfair and see how that works out.  I do know that our governor called a special session to do everything the state could to keep these jobs in the area, not just for now, but for decades to come.  We gave them tax breaks, supported by both Democrats and Republicans. Remember, taxes are just money that the government collects.  It may be collecting fewer dollars from Boeing, but all the working employees not on unemployment will more than pay for that.  That’s just how it works.  I watched the news tonight and saw cities in Texas and other places around the country drooling, hoping you’ll turn it down.

Think about it.  You play hardball, you vote “no”, Boeing says “Fine, we’ll take this project somewhere else.”  And there you are, proud to have stood up to “the man”….without a job….in a state economy that takes a punch to the gut….with thousands of newly unemployed people collecting unemployment.  This reminds me of the Tea Party folks (hey, might as well piss off everyone while I’m here) who felt that closing the government down was more important that allowing Obamacare to begin.  Closing down our government is a better idea?  That did nothing but hurt citizens and put off the bigger decisions until early next year.  Nice job.

Now, back to the machinists.  If you’re a die-hard union person, what I’m saying is blasphemy.  Of course the union is going to say the deal isn’t fair.  That’s because there were no negotiations with them.  Boeing just said, “Here’s what will work for us.”  Gee, if you don’t need them to negotiate, imagine how much you’d save each month on union dues.

In our free-market economy, we’ve all had to cut back in recent years.  You talk about your pension being cut?  What’s a pension?   You guys are still leaps and bounds beyond most working people who have had their insurance skyrocket, their jobs double or triple in duties, all while America runs leaner and meaner.

I have a feeling most members will realize this and vote to keep their jobs, rather than take on a mob mentality.  But only time and the vote this week will tell.

Is Boeing bluffing?  It wasn’t that long ago that they moved their corporate headquarters to Chicago.  Kansas City, South Carolina, almost anywhere in the U.S. would love to get this program and the jobs that come with it.

I wish you well in your decision and hope these aren’t the final days of aerospace in Seattle.

Tim Hunter

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