Boeing is desperate to get its long-delayed Dreamliner out to the world, with tens of billions of dollars at stake in the next 1-3 years. The union representing Boeing machinists apparently decided that in this time of unparalleled weakness in the airline industry (the source of much of Boeing’s prospective Dreamliner business) and Boeing’s greatest time of need, they should go for the jugular and demand EVEN MORE, to hell with the consequences to the company and its long-term health.
A strike has been threatened. Boeing’s production is in doubt even more than before. Airbus lurks in the wings. Another great American company could be impaled by its selfish, infatuated with the short term unionized employees. Obsessed with their pay and benefits, they fail to see they are sucking the life out of the provider of said pay and benefits.
I have good friends who departed the Navy and joined Boeing in Everett where we were all stationed in 2007. I wish them the best but hope they are not part of this stupidity. A little less group-think and a lot more long view would go a long way. Otherwise, Boeing will fall even further.
Returning to a theme he sounded in Michigan much to his electoral detriment there, John McCain has bravely told audiences in Ohio and elsewhere that their jobs are not coming back from overseas and that they need to get over that loss ASAP and go back to school or join a job-skills training program. One does not need to know the story of the Michigan Republican primary to realize this is a highly unpopular proposition among the average deluded American worker.
Telling the truth like this jeopardizes his electoral chances nationwide but he has a point that more Americans need to consider not just in economics or politics but in their daily lives. We as a country simply must stop resting on our laurels and work hard to innovate, improve and inform (through education and a willingness to buck tradition) ourselves. That means auto workers need to focus on how to make the best possible car (as GM has done with the award winning 2008 Chevy Malibu) and factory workers designing the best product (whether that be shoes, clothing or paint booths). That entails growing through investment and risk-taking the “Green Belt” and upgrading everything else we do or leaving it by the wayside.
Being lazy and ignorant is something some Americans share with some people in other countries from Europe to Asia. Success breeds stasis and a false sense of security. Henceforth Sen. Obama’s “Yes We Can & We Are The Change” slogans are actually quite effective in the sense of awakening people to their seize control of their lives and act on the change they want to see happen, as well as Sen. McCain’s call to national service and unity in defense of country and ideals.
In 2004, Sen. McCain helped to torpedo a highly corrupt acquisition deal between the Air Force and Boeing. Forcing an actual open bidding process that was not corrupted by DOD figures angling for six figure jobs with Boeing or someone else, he helped save taxpayers billions of dollars. Four years later, the Air Force has decided that the European firm EADS simply crafted a better product across the board (and at a lower price) than Boeing and selected EADS to build its new air refueling tankers.
Political war has ensued. Protectionist Democrats and Republicans united in ignorantly slamming the Air Force for its decision, decrying that an American company building a lesser product at a more expensive price was not selected. Heavens Forbid! How dare the Air Force do the right thing at a time of war and shrinking budgets? How dare it place the safety of its pilots and planes above the gain of a few thousand American jobs? How dare Sen. McCain expose a corrupt acquisition process four years ago?
Even worse are the Boeing workers, who, rather than accepting that they built an inferior product and deciding to go back and innovate so that they can beat out the Europeans next time, are now decrying their own failure by blaming McCain and the Air Force. Apparently, patriotism stops at the factory doors, and the needs of people at war are less important than lazy, incompetent workers who built an inferior product and can’t bear to admit it.
This whole brouhaha exposes my singular issue with this country since returning from overseas. WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE FREAKING LAZY! Lazy in their thought processes, their job efforts, their commitment to family and society.
These Boeing workers (a few of whom I know having lived in Everett, WA the past year) are scared of competition, lazy in improving their product and their designs and frankly, incoherent in their understanding of the new world they live in and insanely seeking a return to a mythic past that is never coming back. After visiting Singapore and Hong Kong extensively where people have few sacred cows and bow less to tradition and more to pragmatism, I can’t tolerate this type of laziness and stupidity. It makes me sick!