Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)


Ummm...and so your problem is WHAT exactly?

Here in the Northwest, one of the few things you can depend on, is that every few years The Boeing Company and one of it's Unions are not going to get along, leading to strikes and contract negotiation, which result in less profits for Boeing, and happy Union employees.

A few years ago, when Boeing decided to build a 2nd assembly plant for their newest plane, the 787 Dream Liner, they had to choose between adjacent to their current plant in Washington, or adjacent to their current plant in South Carolina. 

Boeing chose South Carolina, and have been constructing the plant for 18 months.  Now, in a move that BLOWS MY MIND, the National Labor Relations Board is taking Boeing to court, saying that their decision to build the new plant(and create 4000-7000 new jobs) in relatively problem free South Carolina instead of the Constantly Problem Filled Puget Sound Area, Boeing is engaged in company wide Anti-Union Retaliation, and that the US. Government should force Boeing to build all it's Dream Liners in Washington.


As a manager in an organization with a pretty strong union, I understand the concept of 'retaliation'.  Firing someone, giving them all the bad assignments, making their life a living hell, running them over with a car...that's 'retaliation'.  Building the plant in South Carolina, with cheaper land costs, cheaper taxes, AND cheaper labor(lower cost of living mostly, and less experience, so higher top pays) is economics.  NO one in Washington LOST a job because of this decision by Boeing...the new jobs just went to a different area.  Still in the US I might add....it's not like Boeing went to Mexico for REALLY cheap labor.

So, good for them.

Now, from a personal standpoint, even if Boeing had come out and said 'Yes, Machinist's Union, because you go on strike for 2 months every three years, we are tired of the headache, and are building all our new stuff in South Carolina, I STILL wouldn't have an issue with this, because it didn't cost the folks in Washington their job.  Heck, if Boeing packed up the whole company and went to South Carolina, I'm not sure I would have a problem with it!  That is an economics decision...good for them! 

My wife and I frequently disagree about Unions.  I see all that is wrong with them, she mostly sees the good things.  As a nurse, she sees the protections offered to employees...as a manager, I see weak workers being shielded an coddled.  Not all union employees are weak employees, but it's fascinating how many weak employees carry a union contract around with them. 

Even in this era of economic horror, it's the union employees who cling to their contract mandated pay raises, while everyone else get pay freezes or cuts.  It's Union Pensions(which I will admit, stupid politicians agreed to!) that are an untouchable part of budgets. 

Sigh.  So...in this case, in my mind, what happened is Boeing cleanly and legally ran an end around past the powerful unions here in the Northwest, and I say Bravo. 


  1. As a union member, your wife gets ALL the propaganda, along with the "benefits" granted to her by the union. She should also be listening to what her union is NOT telling her. In essence they are paying her to support them, which would be fine if there was no corruption in what she's supporting. Most unions are horribly corrupt. The leadership rakes in billions and gives pennies to the membership.

  2. I'm of the opinion that a properly run union can be good for both employee and employer. Unfortunetly most unions these days, especially the larger, older, ones, aren't even close to being propery run any more, and as such are hurting their members as much as the employers.

  3. Well, yes, just like a properly run government...the question is your definition of properly run. I try not to come across as HATING unions, because once upon a time they were a wonderful thing. Every worker in America owes thanks to the first union workers, who risked getting their heads stove in on those early strike lines. Now though...I see very little 'protecting the worker' and a lot of 'what can we do next to stick it to 'The Man'.