Boeing: “Mack Daddy” Blues In North Charleston

Boeing’s South Carolina Dreamliner assembly plant is struggling to keep up with its already delayed production quotas, multiple sources at the heavily taxpayer-subsidized facility tell FITS. Meanwhile the “tide is turning” toward unionization at the plant – which would be a major blow to S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, a vocal opponent of…

Boeing’s South Carolina Dreamliner assembly plant is struggling to keep up with its already delayed production quotas, multiple sources at the heavily taxpayer-subsidized facility tell FITS.

Meanwhile the “tide is turning” toward unionization at the plant – which would be a major blow to S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, a vocal opponent of organized labor.

The North Charleston, S.C. facility – which has received more than $1 billion in taxpayer largesse – was originally supposed to produce three next generation passenger jets per month by the end of 2013. This summer, however, a company spokeswoman told Reuters the deadline had been pushed back to “mid-2014.”

Now sources tell FITS the deadline has been pushed back even further – and that the facility “might” reach its goal of three planes per month sometime in 2015.

“They are way behind,” one source told us. “They are not going to make the new deadline.”

Wow … no wonder the Palmetto State was dissed for Boeing’s 737 MAX and 777X projects.

Boeing’s North Charleston plant is currently producing 1.5 Dreamliners per month. Its South Carolina spokeswoman – Candy Eslinger – was not immediately available to comment on the plant’s future production goals.

In addition to its productivity problems, Boeing’s North Charleston plant also appears to be on the verge of a union takeover.

“More workers are wearing their IAM shirts on Fridays,” one source said, referring to an ongoing campaign by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. “It’s only a matter of time.”

Wow …

Part of the problem appears to be the management style of Jack Jones, who took over day-to-day command of the plant in 2011.

“Workers aren’t allowed to leave the line for any reason without written permission,” one source told us.

Also, Jones is dealing with a “competency gap” compared to Boeing’s Everett, Washington, facility – unable to find qualified South Carolina workers to serve in key engineering positions.

“The engineers are being shipped in from Seattle,” our source said, adding that when it comes to top-tier manufacturing talent, “South Carolina can’t keep up with their needs.”

Given the ongoing academic failure of the state’s government-run education monopoly … is that really any surprise?

Haley and other status quo-supporting South Carolina politicians have bet big on Boeing and its Dreamliner – which continues to experience all sorts of problems in the wake of its global grounding earlier this year.

Originally scheduled for delivery in May of 2008, numerous design, supply and delivery problems pushed Dreamliner’s deadline back more than three years – causing numerous cancellations. Things haven’t gone much smoother since the plane took flight.

There is tremendous financial pressure on the company to turn a profit on the program – and the delays in South Carolina (where 30 percent of new Dreamliners are eventually supposed to be produced) are obviously being monitored closely.

Haley has been Boeing’s biggest cheerleader, referring to 787s as “Mack Daddy Planes” during a speech to the Republican National Convention last year. Meanwhile S.C. Senator Hugh Leatherman – a big-spending liberal from Florence, S.C. who helped negotiate the company’s incentives – proudly refers to himself around the S.C. State House as “Senator Boeing.”

Neither politician was immediately available to comment on the disturbing reports coming from North Charleston.

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Manray November 12, 2013 at 11:42 am

So “…Jones is dealing with a “competency gap” compared to Boeing’s Everett, Washington, facility – unable to find qualified South Carolina workers to serve in key engineering positions.” And this is because in SC there is an “…ongoing academic failure of the state’s government-run education monopoly …” They don’t have public education in Washington state? I think they do. The “competency gap” has much less to do with public education, per se, than the quality of public education and the preparation of students in SC.

Wouldn’t it be sublime justice if Haley’s great achievement in bribing Boeing to come to North Charleston ended up in the importation of a successful union presence?

CNSYD November 12, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I am sure that the failure is the poor aeronautical engineering curriculum at the “government-run” universities in SC. OH WAIT! There are no such programs in SC but there is, as has been for all long time, such programs in the state of Washington. More Sic Willie distortion.

Lenny November 12, 2013 at 4:17 pm

I don’t think a lot of people understand the Boeing hiring process. It is country wide, not limited to SC residents. I don’t have the numbers, and Boeing wont put them out, but there is a very large % of the 6000 N. Charleston work force who came from out of state. The instate training at Trident isn’t to teach a trade or skill, but to teach the already educated the Boeing way of doing things.

CNSYD November 12, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Lenny! Lenny! Sic Willie doesn’t want truth and/or logic on here. Please cease and desist.

Gregg November 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Talented people are not going to go to S.C. with out good pay and benefits just what Boeing is trying to get away from

Thomas November 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm

This hit piece is moot. The Seattle Union Machinists REFUSED TO VOTE AND REJECTED Boeing’s latest 10 year contracts on the 737 and 777. Boeing can put all new construction projects in South Carolina…and the jobs associated with them…and not lose sleep.

BubbaG November 13, 2013 at 9:43 pm

You should probably check your facts before you post things. The 737MAX isn’t going anywhere and the company has learned from its mistakes of putting a plane as complex as the 787 in a state where there is no skilled labor.

Gene November 14, 2013 at 10:48 am

I just thought that I would chime in as one of those Everett folks. First of all I was a machinist for nearly 10 yrs before coming to Boeing. In the past the company has has a good history of treating there employees with fairness and respect. This latest “contract” was a spit in the face. But you are right about one thing, Boeing could pack up and go to SC…if they felt like waiting generations while the labor gained expertise in aerospace technology. While the 787 project is struggling to build two planes a month, we are busting them out. As for the 737. we are currently at almost 40 planes per month. It would take years to get that type of performance from as unskilled a workforce as there is in SC. Not to say that the workforce is not capable but it too us years to get to that. I have every confidence in the PEOPLE of SC and there ability to adapt but it does take time. Boeing knows that.

Devin November 15, 2013 at 5:16 am

Not to mention the lost customer base, when they realize that how long it would take them to get the airplanes they ordered, and then realize who is building them

billy November 14, 2013 at 9:25 pm

one issue S.C. can not build the Boeing jets they already have. They are drowning and gasping for air just to produce 3ea. 787 a month. If any more work
is given to S.C. they will choke and die. Boeing knows that IAM 751 bulds it better, faster and unparell quality. Evertt/Renton is pumping out BOEING jets of all sizes and models. Thats why were not worried about Boeing leaving this is home this is what we do, generation upon generation. I am ashamed at Boeings greed, we need to become a manufactoring family once more IAM 751&Boeing
truely built it better. It may cost a little more to operate with unions and yes the ocasional strike but the end product is number one.

Nan November 14, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Not to mention I’ve heard from more than one (unaffiliated) with each other source, that S. Caroline cannot certify airplanes at this time. They have to be ferried to Everett to get certified.

Lee Grayson November 15, 2013 at 10:21 am

Are you just talking about the FAA inspectors being off the job in Charleston during the government shutdown? That happened, but I haven’t heard anything about the FAA pulling Charleston’s cert for any other reason.

Badcatt November 15, 2013 at 7:00 pm

I have heard rumors that it was pulled temporarily. I have been looking for a week now. It was running around at the IAM751 Union hall in Seattle last week. I think they received a warning that it could be pulled. either way, this is not a good thing.

Karadion November 15, 2013 at 10:17 pm

No, they never pulled the certifications. They called in all the people responsible for certification back to South Carolina in order to certify the planes during the shutdown. So they basically went from non-essential to essential.

One of 6,100 November 12, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Ha ha, Folk’s is pissin into the wind again.

scotty November 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Wow, great news as the company announced plans for a new plant that will employ 2,000. Nothing to do with any thing but capacity and the dumb ass union aholes in Everett.

This just in . . . November 12, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Issa Accuses Obama of Trying to Make Affordable Care Act Work

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) — In an explosive accusation, the House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-California) today charged President Obama with “using all the resources at his disposal to make the Affordable Care Act work.”

Accusing the President of participating in “a wide-ranging conspiracy,” Mr. Issa told reporters that “behind closed doors, the President has quietly assembled a high-tech brain trust that is working around the clock to fix the Web site — at government expense.”

Rep. Issa said that he would call for a new round of hearings and would subpoena “all those persons suspected of being involved in the ongoing plot to fix Obamacare.”

“This is a conspiracy, if you will, that goes all the way to the top,” Rep. Issa said. “If there is a plan to fix Obamacare, what did the President know about that plan and when did he know it?”

Rep. Issa concluded his remarks on a defiant note, drawing a line in the sand: “If the President thinks he is going to repair that Web site so that it works when anyone tries to access it, I’ve got news for him: not on my watch.”

Nyr November 14, 2013 at 11:21 pm

And this has to do with this article.. what?

1000X More Wisdom Than You November 12, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Having connections inside the plant and having worked there for a contractor, the problem is too many Boeing employees are NOT productive. I hate to toss race into this, but blacks are lazy and treat a work environment like a big SOCIAL environment. Then, the majority of Boeing employees at the North Charleston plant are NOT even from South Carolina. People are moving into SC from other states – and why? Hello? Hello?!!!! …. As to the union, good luck with that. Boeing can just pack up and move to another state. Besides, there are just too many STUPID people in this state. It seems to be a magnet for them. Just look at how people drive!! And for the record, I was born and raised in South Carolina. I also work here too. And again, I have seen the worthless non-productive employees Boeing has had to hire. Going union will not do anything. It will just cause Boeing to pull the plug on South Carolina. And perhaps it needs too. South Carolina has been taken over by transplants. And with that, they bring their lazy bad attitudes.

fmr insider November 12, 2013 at 9:02 pm

They will be Union within 15 months. Contracts will be lower, but cost still higher than anticipated. Nikki does not care cause she will be re-elected already.
Many of the employees from out of state are sympathetic to the unions and the racial minorities are 90% pro-union.

Egads November 12, 2013 at 10:32 pm

I can see the pitch already:

“You are being exploited down here by greedy Boeing.”

They will sell that shit to the dummies on the Boeing plant floor that had no jobs before Boeing came here because that’s the national temperature of things now.

It’ll be an easy sell because of the demographics. The dummies on the floor might not realize it, but they could be slicing their own throats and SC’s subsidy will go down with the ship.

What an irony though if Boeing buckles and the Union gets a foothold in SC. That would be a bad proposition long term for SC on a larger scale, because manufacturers aren’t coming here for any other reason then a low pay scale and available workforce.

denleader November 21, 2013 at 1:31 pm

You’re absolutely right Egads. I’m a Boeing technical worker in Everett and a union official with SPEEA. I spent 10 days in N. Charleston a few years ago when they first started hiring employees helping to set up some of the shops, and was offered a job at $5K more than I was making up in the northwest, but I also knew I’d never see another raise and my benefits would be gutted. Had I decided to take the job, in addition to the work I would do for Boeing I would have also functioned as a union organizer and would have worked to change the N. Charleston workers opinion of organized labor. Think “Norma Rae”. And your guess is exactly right, I would have said “you are being exploited down here by greedy Boeing” because that’s the truth. I would have shown the salary charts from the Puget Sound for similar jobs and pointed out that Boeing charges the airlines the same price for 787s whether they’re built in Everett or South Carolina. It’s the people who Boeing is playing for chumps by paying them way less than the work is worth that are the dummies. The people on the shop floor that you call dummies won’t be falling for a union trick, but heeding common sense. You’re wrong that they’d be cutting their own throats – Boeing has paid too much to establish the N. Charleston facility to walk away. They’re committed. The slight increase in labor cost is nothing compared to costs of setting up that production infrastructure. Boeing needs that investment to be kicking out airplanes for a very long time into the future. It would be Boeing cutting off their nose to spite their face if they chose to abandon SC. N. Charleston has already won the work they’ve got and they can rest assured they can keep it. As long as SC is willing to offer workers at bargain basement wages, Boeing may throw more additional work your way, too. The question you have to ask yourself is how long you’ll allow yourself to sell your valuable labor at cut rate prices. We’re not talking Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, we’re talking cheap. The line from Casablanca is “I don’t mind a parasite – I object to a cut rate one.” We’re building frickin’ airplanes here – that’s serious business. Tell me, would you automatically take the lowest bidder for important surgery you needed or the one who’s best at the job? How about the guy who’s going to build your house?
Here’s the deal: Boeing has more orders than they have manufacturing capacity. Airlines have to place orders years in advance of a need, guessing what the market will be by the time the plane is actually delivered. Even with increasing production rates up in the Puget Sound, Washington may not get any new development programs like the 777X, but Boeing cannot afford to move the Everett or Renton facilities because they desperately need the production capacity from their legacy airplane programs (737NG, 747-8, 767 Tanker (that is if the US can ever really afford to buy some), 777, & 787) for the remainder of their product life cycles. It doesn’t make economic sense to shut down a functioning production line and move it somewhere – once they’ve got it, they’ve got to keep it pumping out planes until it falls apart. Boeing is trying to frighten its Washington state employees that their existing jobs might also be at risk of being moved somewhere like SC if they’re not willing to unconditionally surrender their good pay and benefits down to SC levels, but it’s a hollow threat. Boeing is using SC worker’s willingness to work for so much less to coerce Washington state workers to work for less, too. This is the definition of playing one group against the other and tricking them into participating in the race to the bottom.
How can the unions win? That’s easy: no matter where Boeing and other corporations try to move work to find cheaper labor, we unions will follow and organize there, too. The work is worth fair pay and benefits. Workers will realize that and come to the conclusion that collective bargaining is the only way to get the compensation that work deserves. I’ve seen it happen in other union-hostile locations – people get disrespected by the company for long enough and they decide it’s worth doing what you have to to be treated fairly. If Boeing didn’t do stupid stuff to get people angry at them or if they treated their employees well, they’d be content making low pay for longer, but the company can’t help itself and wherever employees allow some exploitation they’re tempted to take as much advantage of the situation as they can, and always cross the line. Boeing will eventually realize that moving wherever the work is temporarily cheaper costs them more money in the long run.

My Name Is Mr. Know November 13, 2013 at 5:11 pm

I don’t think so. In fact, I know so. Hence, you are full of it. The Union is in for a very rude awaking. Will their leaders need criminal attorneys? You bet they will .. .hahahahahaahahahahahaaaaaaa!

Joe bag of donuts November 14, 2013 at 9:19 pm

I spent 2 years there with children, transplanted from KSC in Florida and I can tell you I could not get out of there fast enough! Along with the lazy parents
come there foul mouth kids.

fingerplucker November 15, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Racist much 1000X? You’re dispicible.

satch November 15, 2013 at 8:01 pm

hmm those black contractor mechs from planetech and johnson services were better than any of the local good ol boys and without them you would never had produced anything. i was there and still know folks there too.why do they have all the bros working in the cargo pits? you know why and i am sure they are making folks who just came in the door and know nothing leads and qa over those folk you KKKing

fudgenut November 28, 2013 at 2:57 am

If they pull the plug on south carolina, maybe they will see what a big mistake it was to move corporate out of the great state of washington and bring all operations back where they belong. To the home town of Boeing. Seattle.

Dennis Link December 10, 2013 at 2:45 am

Maybe Boeing Management thought that technologically , we are at the emergence of robot labor assembly lines for commercial aircraft, like that of automobile assembly lines.
That has got to be at least 10 years out.

Lee Grayson November 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Charleston is growing fast enough as it is. 20,000 new workers + their families moving here all at once would make this town a clusterf*ck.

Jackie Chiles November 13, 2013 at 9:36 am

Sounds good to me. The amount I charge for my rental property will go up.

I Know Who You Are November 13, 2013 at 5:13 pm


Karadion November 14, 2013 at 9:36 am

You have a problem with population growth?

Lee Grayson November 14, 2013 at 11:09 am

Do you even live in Charleston? The growth in this town has been poorly planned. The politicians just tell developers to go ahead and build it, and we’ll work on fixing the overcrowded roads and schools later. I doubt they would handle a huge Boeing expansion any better.

Karadion November 14, 2013 at 11:13 am

They do need to expand Dorchester including re-working some of the bottlenecks on the 26 and 526, that much I agree on. Meanwhile population growth is still good for any city. Provided that they are taxpayers rather than welfare recipients.

Lee Grayson November 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Charleston is already one of the country’s fastest growing cities. Unless you work in real estate, adding 20,000 families all at once will be a negative. I go back to my original comment: It will be a clusterf*ck. Also, people who move to Charleston seem to like it the way it is. If they wanted to live in a sprawling city, they would have moved to Charlotte or Atlanta. Bigger isn’t always better.

Dennis Link December 10, 2013 at 2:57 am

The labor force population is too populated with Humans that can be replaced by robots, and offshore labor..
The corporate elite recognize this, and this is why the union members are being so viciously attacked.

Lee Grayson November 12, 2013 at 9:17 pm

It seems like Boeing won’t go anywhere without a government handout. South Carolina has already paid them off twice. Where would we get the money to match the 9 billion that Washington state is offering them?

Jackie Chiles November 13, 2013 at 9:35 am

Probably from the income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, telephone taxes, gas taxes, car taxes, hospitality taxes, and various other taxes that would be paid by the thousands of employees that relocate here. Duh.

Karadion November 14, 2013 at 9:36 am

It’s not 9 billion in subsidies. it’s 9 billion in taxes that they don’t collect if the industries are established. Subsidies goes into the tax payer’s pockets. Tax breaks leaves the tax payer’s pockets alone. And taxation takes from the tax payer which some can argue that it’s theft.

Scott November 14, 2013 at 11:02 am

In the last deal, South Carolina GAVE Boeing money upfront. $120 million to buy and improve the land. So no, it is not just tax breaks, although there are plenty of those there too.

Karadion November 14, 2013 at 11:35 am

I wasn’t arguing with that. The fact is there is a huge difference between the two. Washington isn’t giving Boeing 9 billion in subsidies like South Carolina did with $120 million. However with the investment of $1 billion or more in Center of Excellence including developing IRC & 737 Nacelle, the reward can be great for the state. Now contrast that to Washington. Washington just won’t be making $9 billion in taxes that they could have which they’ll make around $1.8 billion instead. So the $9 billion translate to 330 million per year for 27 years (expires in 2040) in tax breaks.

alexpdx November 14, 2013 at 11:32 pm

At the end of the day, there’s no difference. Hence why the WTO ruled these tax breaks illegal.

Cleveland Steamer November 12, 2013 at 10:22 pm

200 MPH duct tape comes off at 550 MPH……

Jackie Chiles November 13, 2013 at 9:33 am

The “competency gap” is precisely why we need such large tax incentives to draw industry here. How is this so hard to understand? Companies aren’t going to come to SC unless we make it worth their while. To act like if we had no tax incentives, companies would just be chomping at the bit to spend billions to relocate to SC is ludicrous.

SkizDriz November 14, 2013 at 9:56 am

Everyone seems to think they have an idea how it all works, don’t they? You get what you pay for. South Carolina can only import so many people. Who wants to live there? Do you, as a highly educated engineer want to move thousands of miles away to a facility bent on keeping its workers in poverty? Nobody wants that tension, so here comes the union. Locate where talent exists and they will knock down your door. Oh, and you have to pay them decent wages. Instead we will pay the people of SC higher wages. This is whack a mole, and it is a zero sum game of threats and fear.

satch November 15, 2013 at 8:04 pm

plus if that was great place to live the folks from the northeast would have ran that place over a long time ago

Andrews November 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Man SC needs to vote in the union. I’m an everett, WA boeing Elec that would love to see boeing South Carolina succeed as part of the great IAM.

scrambler65 November 15, 2013 at 12:56 am

It’s only a matter of time when SC machinists become all competent for the tasks and that’ll be when they ask for the same compensation/protection that his brothers in WA are enjoying.

Even if Boeing decides to end the entire production in WA and ship it to SC, the company also has to move parts of its competent workers from WA and thus the seeds for unionization.

It’ll be a perfect world when nobody has to haggle for a decent term. Negotiation does no good on workers sentiment. Today, folks at WA Boeing just rejected the 777X contract. I just don’t understand how they can come back to work tomorrow when today they were like This is BS! Burn this mufu down!

Boeing Portland November 16, 2013 at 2:44 am

I dont believe anyone really understans the absolute problem. After the Airshow on the 17th. IF Dubai doesn’t get there planes on time, the contracts are done. I only wish it wasn’t the big hassle it is. But at the end of the day, its finished quality planes, not maybes, not okay planes. Finished 100% PERFECT planes. Which our brothers to the north turn out quite rapidly. They won’t have 10 years or more to catch up to maker there 1st Perfect plane.

Mike November 15, 2013 at 4:38 am

Hey mommy can I go potty? If you don’t stand up for your self you will be treated accordingly.

mimilissy November 15, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Unionize IAM in North Charleston. It is going to be good for SC because everyone benefits from higher wages, more spending in the economy, is more jobs is more people in small business benefit…… THAT is how trickle down economics works and why this nation ONCE had a growing middle class. It was built by the unions not the rich….EVER…. Go IAM!!!! I started out UAW at McDonnell Douglas (DAC) in Long Beach and went salary. The reason the salary wages were good was because of the IAM and UAW. The reason I made a good living after I left was because of DAC wages.

chucky November 20, 2013 at 9:46 am

You really need to take an Basic Economy class, when a company make good profit, and economy is strong, high wages will come and it benefits everyone. When a Union force a company to pay high wage it only creates a bubble, and it will brust.
America is not built by Unions, it is built by every hardworking individuals who get up everyday and work 10-12 hours or more, include some rich people. If big fat union is so geat how did Detorit go brankrupt, UAW-Decomcrats run that town. Yes, I agee some company treat thier workers bad, and union has a role there. But when Union force employer to pay more than actual worth + pension + medical benefits, it kills the company and kills the town. Take a look any big union town.

mimilissy November 20, 2013 at 10:44 am

You need to take an economics class. Trickle down economics has decimated the middle class. Right to work state in the south pay horrendous average hourly wages. The middle class has been decimated because of declining wages. You keep drinking the koolaid. You think there’s nothing wrong with paying people substandard wages and when they turn to the EIC, SNAP and medicaid, you call them moochers and demonize them. Big government is caused by letting corporate welfare bloating subsidy roles. There’s been a massive wealth redistribution in the last 20 years where middle class wages are dropping and the wealthy win through greed and avarice. Wake up and look at reality all around you.

denleader November 21, 2013 at 11:33 am

I’m with you mimilissy, chucky doesn’t have a clue. The aerospace industry has never been stronger and Boeing is making record profits. The Wall Street economy has also never been better, but the jobs economy hasn’t yet recovered, and companies are trying to take advantage of that even when they don’t have to. Outsourcing and corporate greed have left the middle and working classes out in the cold. If chucky were correct, Boeing would be showering its workers with higher wages and benefits rather than attempting to take them away. Things are going pretty good for the Walton family, but Wal-Mart employees are at the bottom of the economic food chain. You’re right that trickle down has never worked from the Plutocrats, only when a vibrant working economy allows people with good wages to spend and actively participate as consumers rather than barely eking out an existence does the rising tide lift all ships – even the rich benefit the most when they share more of the profits with their workers. That’s what Henry Ford knew when he paid his workers well enough to afford to buy his products. The only reason the rich should want to prevent others from making more money too is if they think the entire economy is about to collapse and they want to hoard as much of it to themselves before the house of cards crashes down.

Unions can’t FORCE a company to do anything. If the workers want more than the company CAN deliver they’ll fold up shop and go out of business, so unions KNOW not to ask for the moon. We just want a fair share of the profits that our labor makes possible. It’s companies that are exploiting the soft jobs market to threaten their workers to make excessive concessions – lower than what the work is worth – or they’ll move their operations elsewhere. It’s extortion. The only way for the jobs economy to recover is for people to say enough is enough and we won’t continue participating in the race to the bottom. Companies (like Boeing) that are doing well need to do what’s responsible and quit trying to chase the lowest common denominator for labor costs. That’s the only thing that will stop the free fall. If middle and working class families have more money, I promise you they’ll spend it and help fuel demand for more goods and services, which will finally spur companies to start hiring again. If they want decent employees, they’ll have to offer enough compensation to lure them away from companies that aren’t willing to pay more. That’s what will start closing the pay inequity gap.

America was absolutely built by hard-working individuals – including hard-working union workers – but it WAS the unions (individuals bargaining collectively and in solidarity with each other for a common good rather than competing against each other for the least rewards) that improved working conditions, pay, and benefits which built the middle class and allowed America to take the lead in the greatest economic expansion in history. chucky really has drunk the kool-aid when he buys into the false narrative that it was the unions that caused Detroit to go bankrupt. There were LOTS of problems going on there, but UAW made concessions when they knew they had to. The real problem was that the US auto manufacturers weren’t designing cars that Americans wanted to buy. If chucky were really pro-family, he shouldn’t want people to have to work 10-12 hours or more to get ahead. It was unions that brought us the 8 hour day and weekends, overtime pay, retirement security through defined benefit pensions, safety in the workplace, and that ended child labor exploitation. It was union wages and benefits that allowed people to make a decent living and allow formerly economically entrenched families to afford college tuition which allowed their children to reach higher and do better. Companies will cheat and do all manner of immoral activities if they’re not prevented from doing so. Adequate regulation, union protections, and the rule of law are the only thing that keeps us from becoming a 3rd World country with the oligarchs exploiting the people who toil to enable leisure for the rich, but massive amounts of money and lobbyist influence still make the playing field uneven. When people say the Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision just made it fair for companies to counter contributions from unions, the money from corporations has always utterly drowned out whatever meager contributions unions can scrape together. Union money is a drop in the bucket compared to an ocean corporate special interest money and influence.

chucky, if you don’t want companies to have to pay a fair wage, allow for a pension, and contribute to medical coverage, then you must be for single payer health care (Medicare for all) or you think only the rich ought to be entitled to treatment. Medical insurance through the workplace has been part of the social contract we’ve operated under for generations, but by all means let’s come up with a better system where everyone gets decent care, regardless of their work situation, because that’s what a civil society does. Our system is embarrassing compared to the rest of the industrialized world. There are still plenty of thriving companies out there who can afford to provide a pension, and by the economy of scale large companies can balance the risks to ensure reliable retirement security with defined benefit pensions rather than defined contribution 401(k)s where the employee takes all the risk and can’t average out the market fluctuation over a huge population. If all you had was a 401(k) and you needed to retire in late 2008 through 2009, you were screwed. It doesn’t have to be that way.

chucky’s last point is the nuttiest: the IAM and SPEEA have engaged in collective bargaining with Boeing for a VERY long time and though at times it’s been a contentious relationship, it’s resulted in a mutually beneficial symbiosis. We’re not asking for too much. Even though I’m a very highly-rated employee, I’m only making about the national average for the kind of work I do, and doing it in a location where the cost of living is higher than average. The Puget Sound region of Washington state has been insulated from the worst of the economic downturn and in fact thrived over generations specifically BECAUSE there are lots of great union-wage jobs here in the area, and that fuels the rest of our economic prosperity. We’re all doing well right now – the only things that would disturb that are if Boeing moves too much work out of the area or the unions cave and the wages that are driving this economic engine wither away.

I suspect chucky is just another troll out there trying to get a rise out of someone like me by saying stupid stuff, so this reply will just feed his ego and encourage him and others like him to keep doing it. I should know better than to even engage in a discussion like this with idiots who are determined to keep their own compensation below what it should and could be and to make sure almost everyone else stays down in the economic gutter with them. I don’t understand why working class people who could benefit from organized labor are opposed to unions – they’re arguing against their own best interests. Union workers always do better than non-union workers – so it must just be envy.

Assembler B November 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm

First do any of you commenters work at BCS. If not do not speak of which you know not. The main reason the IAM will get a vote is due to the incompetent leadership ( lack of). The workers know how to get the rate up and still put out a quality product. Seems when we get close to getting to rate “management” decides it needs fixing and we go back to square one. Also BCS has never lost its certificate nor has it been in jeopardy.

Assembler B November 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Sorry BSC, not BCS. That place makes me so mad at times

Assembler B November 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Update: During that weather system that moved thru the other day, Tornado Watch, lightening within 3 miles of the Building, they were sending factory workers to the flight line, BSC where your safety is our primary concern. <sarc

Greg December 9, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I want to know if the North Charleston Boeing workers, who are getting paid 40% less their Seattle counterparts will get a 40% discount when they purchase tickets to fly on a “Dreamliner”?

bubbax March 12, 2014 at 12:07 am

I note that it has never been disclosed, as far as I can tell anyway, where the problem planes were manufactured. ‘d like to seen a plane by plane bbreak down of where the problem planes were assembled.

Of sounds like Boeing might be well advised to encourage the unionization of sc operations.


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