Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Friday, January 3, 2014

Boeing Machinists Narrowly Approve Contract Extension

Posted by on Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 10:04 PM

With a narrow 51 percent "yes" vote, Boeing machinists approved a revised contract offer that sacrifices defined pension benefits and triples health care costs in exchange for securing 777X production in the Puget Sound region. It was a humiliating concession for the machinists union to make, especially during an era of record corporate profits. But of course, humiliating the union was always part of Boeing management's goal.

I'll have to more say about this later when I'm, you know, not writing at 10 pm on a Friday night. But let me just take this moment to remind all you politicians and editorialists who ridiculed the machinists for rejecting the previous contract offer—a contract that included smaller bonuses and punitively stretched the time it would take new hires to climb the pay ladder from 6 to 16 years—that this is in fact a better contract than the original take-it-or-we're-leaving offer the union overwhelmingly rejected. Machinists obviously knew management better than the pundits did, ending up with both their jobs and a better (if still sucky) contract. So the pundits can all, you know, fuck off.


Comments (59) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Man, I can't fucking wait to hear all the assholes with pensions cheer on the fact that a bunch of other people just lost their own.
Posted by Solk512 on January 3, 2014 at 10:15 PM · Report this
As someone who lost a pension, I offer my condolences. My suggestion is to invest the $10,000 wisely folks. Of course, Wall Street will probably end up screwing you out of that, too.
Posted by ProstSeattle on January 3, 2014 at 10:18 PM · Report this
@1, they didn't "lose" their pensions; those that have them will keep them, with employer contributions through the coming two years of the current contract. After that, there will be no further employer contributions.
Posted by sarah70 on January 3, 2014 at 10:23 PM · Report this
@2 I think Boeing's second contract offer upped the signing bonus to $15,000.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on January 3, 2014 at 10:41 PM · Report this
Record profits rarely trickle down past upper management.
Posted by DOUG. on January 3, 2014 at 10:49 PM · Report this
What is that 8.5 billion tax cut for again? Jobs? You'd think we'd get cushier jobs for 8.5 billion...
Posted by JonCracolici on January 3, 2014 at 10:55 PM · Report this
@3 That's a distinction without a difference.
Posted by Solk512 on January 3, 2014 at 11:02 PM · Report this
Yeah... I liked the company reps saying they have to cut worker costs because they're going to have to sell planes at a cut rate (please pay no attention to the massive discounts due to the earlier orders being delayed).
Posted by ChefJoe on January 3, 2014 at 11:17 PM · Report this
@7 It would seem the Boeing machinists disagree.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on January 3, 2014 at 11:19 PM · Report this
motofly 10
@9 They're not. They have kids and mortgages and are very, very sad right now to the man and woman. Relieved, maybe. But from what I can tell, not happy.

Go fuck yourself.
Posted by motofly on January 3, 2014 at 11:45 PM · Report this
@6 - it is for the padding of wallets for a few dozen people.
Posted by gangly on January 4, 2014 at 12:42 AM · Report this
Ballard Pimp 12
So next month we will ignore that 100 flange welding jobs will be transferred to California, just like 150 jobs were transferred to Witchita last month, and the month before to South Carolina and the month before to Missouri...
Posted by Ballard Pimp on January 4, 2014 at 12:59 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 13
As more and more people are suckered or forced into the 401k bandwagon, I wonder if all the businesses that benefit greatly from a middle-class senior population are taking notice. And what is local government going to do? Reopen the county poorhouses?
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on January 4, 2014 at 7:31 AM · Report this
Time for Kshama lama ding dong to storm the gates and retool the plant to make bicycles right?
Posted by Sugartit on January 4, 2014 at 7:34 AM · Report this
Abe Frohman 15
Boeing management planned ahead and added enough veneer that its threat to go elsewhere had a trickle of credibility. If IAM or SPEEA want the same leverage the next time, then start pitching Airbus to sight something here now.
Posted by Abe Frohman on January 4, 2014 at 8:06 AM · Report this

“ start pitching Airbus to sight something here now.”

Why would Airbus do that? I know you’re stupid but Airbus is already building plant to make planes in the US: in Alabama. Why? Tax breaks and because it’s a right to work state.
Posted by Sugartit on January 4, 2014 at 8:20 AM · Report this
@15 btw airbus is building the A320 in Alabama to directly compete with Boeing's cash make the 737. If you think Boeing didn't notice the competition, you are pretty fucking uninformed.
Posted by Sugartit on January 4, 2014 at 8:25 AM · Report this
401Ks don't work because Americans don't save enough. This is not an inevitability of human nature. Many countries have savings rate more than twice that of the US. You can read more about that here:…
Posted by Ken Mehlman on January 4, 2014 at 8:27 AM · Report this
@18 401Ks don't work because you are bound to lose it in the nonsensical casino that is Wall Street.
Posted by Agrippa on January 4, 2014 at 8:32 AM · Report this
"@18 401Ks don't work because you are bound to lose it in the nonsensical casino that is Wall Street."

Jesus you people are stupid. You don't have to put your 401ks in stocks. You can buy CDs, bonds, treasuries, even cash.
Posted by Sugartit on January 4, 2014 at 8:37 AM · Report this
Simply, there is still far too much slack in the national economy and this area's union/workers were never in a position of strength to make many demands. This always hasn't been the case in the past between Boeing and is its workers. Ideally, a stronger economy would enhance all workers' bargaining power, but that is far more easier said than done. Unfortunately we hear less and less about accomplishing this from our elected reps.

What troubles me about this whole event is that I've heard nothing from Boeing that states, as a consequence of this vote, that they guarantee to continue in this region with the projects at question.
Posted by Fairhaven on January 4, 2014 at 8:50 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 22
@13: My old 401K rolled over into a tax-deferred managed IRA went up 100K since 2008 without any contributions. Such wise investments keep people out of poor houses.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on January 4, 2014 at 8:57 AM · Report this

401k's require people to participate in investment decisions. Not all people are capable of learning or have the knowledge to successfully participate in the various investment markets available to them. Some people are much better at assembling airplanes that managing money.
Posted by Fairhaven on January 4, 2014 at 8:59 AM · Report this
....than managing money.

Posted by Fairhaven on January 4, 2014 at 9:01 AM · Report this
I understand that Boeing announced in a statement that as a result of the vote they will continue with the 777X projects in the Puget Sound region.
Posted by Fairhaven on January 4, 2014 at 9:05 AM · Report this
Does this mean the workers will not be taking over the means of production?
Posted by Billy Chav on January 4, 2014 at 9:06 AM · Report this
@23 well, time to be an adult and take responsibility for yourself.
Posted by Sugartit on January 4, 2014 at 9:12 AM · Report this
@21 I don't think anybody's against a stronger economy.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on January 4, 2014 at 9:16 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 29
I'll be the first to admit that any sort of financial talk bores the bejesus out of me. And those who talk about their investments are. by and large, dreadful people. I have a pension through work and Social Security. That's my retirement plan. If something happens to either one, I intend to be as big a burden on society as I possibly can. But I have a feeling that a lot of the 401k-ears will bd right there next to me in the cat food line.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on January 4, 2014 at 9:16 AM · Report this
Nobody's against it, however very few are focused on achieving a stronger economy.
Posted by Fairhaven on January 4, 2014 at 9:25 AM · Report this
@30 I think most of our elected officials are focused on strengthening our economy. Unfortunately there is no consensus about how to achieve that end. Remember that story about Harry Truman wanting to know where he could find a one-handed economist? Apparently he was frustrated by his advisors' tendency to describe one possible course of action and then saying " . . . but on the other hand . . ."
Posted by Ken Mehlman on January 4, 2014 at 9:40 AM · Report this
Defined benefit pensions are officially dead as dodos. State workers be warned.
Posted by Sugartit on January 4, 2014 at 9:54 AM · Report this
Pheble @22. So your 401k did well from 2008 to today. What pray tell did it do from 2007 to 2008. Also, people with higher incomes and time to follow the markets almost always get far better results then regular working people. People who have time during the day to read the financial news, manage their funds and have a time to think about their decisions have a big advantage. A Frontline documentary on the difference between 401k's and pensions said that higher income people had twice the return rate as average income people.

When they were created 401k's were never supposed to be the whole retirement. They were supposed to be a supplement for those who had extra money to set aside.

We are creating a generation of poor retirees that are a disgrace to our country. Blaming them for failures that most people can't overcome is a sadists sport.
Posted by wl on January 4, 2014 at 10:08 AM · Report this
@33 Boeing workers in this area are some if the highest paid workers anywhere on planet earth. They can manage their own retirements.
Posted by Sugartit on January 4, 2014 at 10:11 AM · Report this
Ugh, our politicians should not give huge handouts to companies that do this shit...Every tax break should come with strings attached. It's funny how the right wants the gov't to act like a corporation, but what bank/corporation would hand out money to business the way our gov't does...
Posted by j2patter on January 4, 2014 at 10:26 AM · Report this
venomlash 36
@28: The numbers don't back that up.
Number of votes by House Republicans to repeal Obamacare: 47
Number of votes by House Republicans to pass a jobs bill: crickets
Cost to the American economy of the 16-day shutdown of 2013: $12-24 BILLION
Posted by venomlash on January 4, 2014 at 10:30 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 37
@33: Strange. I've always been a "regular working person" - my job was nothing to boast about. I work part time now. I don't follow Wall Street wizardry and find it rather boring myself. I said 'managed' and that means I pay a fee to have an investment house manage it for me. And I think they do a fairly good job. Yes I'd love to have a pension. I'd also love to have a huge authentic Ming Dynasty vase.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on January 4, 2014 at 10:41 AM · Report this
Remember, it's not about jobs, it's about workers. Or something.
Posted by Unemployed workers on January 4, 2014 at 10:43 AM · Report this
@36 The left has other priorities that compete w/ their commitment to economic prosperity as well. I don't think there is any doubt that the Keystone XL pipeline or those Seattle coal terminals would be beneficial from an economic perspective. The left fights against them tooth and nail regardless.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on January 4, 2014 at 10:51 AM · Report this
@18 - Saving money implies making enough to pay for non-elective spending like health care, child care, -housing, transportation, taxes, etc.
Posted by anon1256 on January 4, 2014 at 11:03 AM · Report this
@39 - Fossil fuel extraction has huge externalized cost so NO, building more pipelines and shipping more coal has no net economic benefit for the 99%. Sending gangs around town to break windows and generate business doesn't constitute economic development.
Posted by anon1256 on January 4, 2014 at 11:08 AM · Report this
@41 Maybe so, but the negative effects of global warming are still, mostly, in the future. Building those coal terminals will create needed jobs, now. Also, the negative effects of climate change will be felt most by poor countries close to the equator. The economic benefits derived from exporting coal all go to Americans.

@40 Housing and transportation costs would be lower if people lived in smaller houses and drove smaller cars. Americans have been living beyond their means for the last 40 years and their prospects for retirement have suffered as a result.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on January 4, 2014 at 11:25 AM · Report this
@39 Not to chase that rabbit hole, but I contest that Keystone and the coal terminals would be that beneficial. You would have a few jobs, post construction, which would pay as little as possible, but you would also have people getting sick and developing chronic illnesses from the constant coal dust, or waiting in traffic for the endless trains, or, in the case of Keystone, you would have massive, huge costs cleaning up the environmental damage from when the pipe inevitably leaks, ruptures, or explodes. If it happens over an aquifer or an environmentally sensitive area, there goes that. Yes, we're pumping a lot more oil now and there's no safe way of transporting it, and it wouldn't be the first pipeline, but I don't see the reason for adding more than we already have. The jobs argument, for one, is overstated.
Posted by floater on January 4, 2014 at 11:49 AM · Report this
@42- Even without climate change, the externalized cost of coal (…) is already enormous. The environmental and plain economic cost of unconventional oil and gas plays is going to be even larger considering how many holes they have to drill just to sustain production.

Your proposal to ignore climate change because only low latitude developing countries are concerned is symptomatic of the ethical and fact deficit swamp you inhabit. Several 100,000's of people per year are already victims of climate change throughout the world.The cost of climate change for higher latitude countries due to sea level rise, and changes in precipitation are going to be enormous as well, so large in fact that I am not sure we could afford rebuilding the infrastructure of port cities for example.
Posted by anon1256 on January 4, 2014 at 12:05 PM · Report this
rob! 45
@42: Your "Americans" of ¶1 are not the same people as your "Americans" of ¶2.

You have to be satire. My hat's off to you for packing more inconsistent, ignorant b.s. into six sentences than I believe you ever have before.
Posted by rob! on January 4, 2014 at 12:06 PM · Report this
I believe this cheap buy off of the local Boeing workers is a short term gambit to have their efficient labor work on the present day/near term projects until the lower cost lower wage Boeing operations, e.g., SC, are much more operational, trained, and efficient; at that point, we will see a massive movement of work from the puget sound to those cheaper right to work Boeing facilities.
Posted by neo-realist on January 4, 2014 at 12:18 PM · Report this
@37 you never did tell us what your 401k did immediately prior to 2008. You may not micro manage your 401k but I'll bet that you did not just get lucky picking a fund manager. Most people don't have the resources to pick that well.

You seem to have the thinking that if I don't have it, no one else can. You might not see your self as more than average working person but I would bet that you have had some breaks in life that most people don't get. Your handle seems to indicate so. I have a nice pension that I worked my ass off to build up, but I am priced way out of real estate in Wallingford and have been my whole adult life. In my modest seventies split level in a marginal neighborhood, I do have the security that most people should have after a reasonable career.
Posted by wl on January 4, 2014 at 12:57 PM · Report this
ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ 48
@42: "the negative effects of climate change will be felt most by poor countries close to the equator"
Holy fuck you are stupid.
Posted by ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ on January 4, 2014 at 1:22 PM · Report this
@46, probably true.
Posted by sarah70 on January 4, 2014 at 1:27 PM · Report this
Your comment is based at looking at the crystal ball. Here's a different look at the crystal ball: The slack in the economy eventually lessens; labor supply significantly tighten and we see the Boeing having to cave to labor
demands. It just as likely to happen.
Posted by Fairhaven on January 4, 2014 at 1:35 PM · Report this
rob! 51
@47, Phoebe's Slog identity is, in part, homage to the great Ruth Warrick. In her private life, Warrick was a liberal activist. So I'm never quite sure how much of what our Phoebe says is satire, either.
Posted by rob! on January 4, 2014 at 2:05 PM · Report this
@46 FTW

boeing has just bought time to transfer more production elsewhere
Posted by Welcome South, Brother on January 4, 2014 at 2:17 PM · Report this
51 hmmm. If I was trolled by a satirist it was pretty brilliant. It didn't feel like it though. Reading her history, satire would explain a lot.
Posted by wl on January 4, 2014 at 2:56 PM · Report this
46 They still have bugs to work out on the RTW assembly lines. I think they are going to give up on NC. Maybe Alabama or Texas might do better.
Posted by wl on January 4, 2014 at 2:58 PM · Report this
@54 Airbus is doing well in Alabama on their A320 line. Expect those planes to give the 737 a real run for their money. Thanks to airbus move to Alabama, the folks at Lazy B in Puget Sound will really feel the heat.
Posted by Sugartit on January 4, 2014 at 3:42 PM · Report this
MajordomoPicard 56
@50 Nice try, except historical evidence (and the present economic weather report) points to a long history of working people being fucked by their bosses, and rarely the other way around.
Posted by MajordomoPicard on January 4, 2014 at 4:22 PM · Report this
Posted by vyy on January 5, 2014 at 1:57 AM · Report this
@27: where the frack do you get that bullshit from? Not everybody will be lucky enough to hack life so much that they can save or whatever neocon thing you want them to do.
Posted by Sky Captain on January 5, 2014 at 11:51 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 59
Goldy: If you unionized the Stranger you wouldn't be forced to work at 10 pm on a Friday night, and we might believe your interests in Union issues are more than rhetorical.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on January 6, 2014 at 10:18 AM · Report this

Add a comment


Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy