Friday, February 24, 2006

Memo to Boeing: Skip the Scabs

It is reported that Boeing has decided that parts delivery to the 787 assembly line will be handled by an independent, non union, low wage contractor and that the 100 or so Boeing expediters (that's what they're called in the trade) are more or less SOL. This was something of a surprise to the IAM local, and it came not too long after the machinists settled the last strike.

I mean, call me a hillbilly from Iowa, but I just don't see anything good coming out of it except a few bucks saved in the beginning. It would be one thing if they took work out of the plant somewhere but this is different. People will remember the expediters who had those jobs who are now gone, replaced by scabs from Walmart Nation.

Maybe Randy doesn't read this blog, but maybe it's time that he should. A Boeing mouthpiece (they seem to have an unending supply these days) said that contracting out parts delivery work is in accordance with Boeing's long term project of ditching low level parts work and getting to systems integration.

I'm sure that all of that will be a comfort to the expediters who are going to lose their jobs, when the last unemployment check runs out and they're stuck in Everett that they've become a noble sacrifice to the cause of systems integration. Yeah, right.

A little bad feeling can go a long way, and instead of looking at the numbers they've got on the proposal, maybe the brains who dream this stuff ought to start thinking what it could cost them down the road, because this won't be forgiven or forgotten. Maybe the shirts don't know it, but memories are long in the factory and insults once given have a habit of surfacing years later.

It told you about my friend Ron Williams, who was sort of a walking oral history project and research department at the Long Beach Douglas plant. He knew about you, even if you didn't know about him. Well, you could be strolling across the plant floor and he might point out someone and say "That fucker's a scab-don't talk to him." The guy's scab status had been earned fifteen years prior in a bitter strike that closed the plant for a while.

Randy, if you're watching, I can state with complete assurance that somewhere in the cavernous reaches of the Boeing plant, there is just such a man cut from the same cloth as Ron Williams, who always remembers, never forgets, never forgives, spreads the word, and is a terrible enemy to make, because he is Memory.


At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one gets laid off... the average age of Boeing hourly employees is 48. Boeiung just doesn't hire anymore $26 an hour part runners for the 787 program. The union boys priced themselves out of the market. Whos fault is that?

At 6:06 AM, Blogger Robert Luedeman, attorney at law said...

That's about what I expected. \

This blog's not about having a debate with people who can't even spell Boeing.
You say "no one gets laid off" but yet you are not willing to advance facts and circumstances to back up your point.
You say Boeing does not hire $26 per hour parts runners any more. I say those people were already there.
You say "the average age of Boeing workers is 48". What message are you trying to convey here? That sounds suspiciously like ageism.


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