Friday, July 21, 2006

More Great News From Seattle: This RIF's For You

Hidden in all the post coital afterglow from the Farnborough Airshow this week was a report from the Long Beach Press Telegram that 140 60 day RIF notifications were handed out to some of the workers at the C17 plant. This, in a city where aerospace workers are fast becoming one with the snail darter and the ivory billed woodpecker-more noted for their absence than their presence and certainly on the endangered species list.

Another in a long series of talking heads from the Prussian Airplane Company said that this RIF was 'not related to the possible shutdown of the C17 production line' but was part of a continuing effort to 'reduce costs'.

It all makes perfect sense. One could reduce costs to zero by firing everyone tomorrow and walking away from the place, because Boeing, does not, after all, own the building or the tooling. That was ever so thoughtfully provided by the taxpayers, and Boeing has been happily milking the last of the order book dry.

Expect no commitment from these people to Long Beach, Southern California, or the people they are busy discarding like last week's Press Telegram. It was ever and always 'Douglas delenda est' to paraphrase Cato. It remains only to plow up the ground and plant enough salt so that nobody will ever get the same idea ever again.

In a few years when the kids around Long Beach ask each other what a tank mechanic or a flight line inspector or a production planner does, and when they wonder where all those white coveralls at the swap meet that say Douglas on them came from, it'll be drinks all around in Chicago.


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