Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Boeing Wants The 777X Built In A Place Just Like Everett Without The Union

Boeing  is house hunting for all the reason's a person wants a new home. The Union has given Everett a case of dry rot.  Even though the Union has performed well when not on strike. Boeing is gaming the union in an attempt to abate Union's ownership in Boeing by moving offshore away from a Union state. The IAM has been dismissed much to the chagrin of Boeing as it tries to find a new home with new timbers. Boeing values this new program of the 777X higher than most of its NW regions other programs. That is how high the stakes are for Boeing. They want to retain company control over its work force and have essentially fired the contract between Boeing and the IAM, goodbye! As mentioned before on this blog, the NW synergy of suppliers and engineers give Everett an outside chance. It could be that Boeing is still having Seattle's Best Coffee with the Union representative as a side show. I doubt it, but it is possible.

The sticking point is how a benefit is managed over sending a contribution back to the Union leadership for a members retirement and medical. Contracting a work force today is about the whole package rather than forcing the corporation into supplying the benefit.. Many corporations today hire a manpower type human resource and internalize a benefit to that hired workforce. This model erodes Union power from negotiating an all inclusive agreement for its workforce. Or the unions see it as an end of collective bargaining leverage. Boeing doesn't want collective bargaining it wants workforce contracting from  a manpower source. Who hires and redistributes that work force upon demand from the contracting corporation. What is lost by that scheme is a portion of quality control of its labor  force that Union was able to provide. However, if Boeing where to come back to the table and have more input and control over the workforce, they may consider a new playbook with Union in Everett.


  • That playbook would eliminate any threat of strike. 
  • It would include a benefit package cost within its contract, provided by the union.
  • Contract negotiation automatically go to arbitration during a renewal period.
  • Contract is one dollar value as a whole from the Union bid or Contracted body.
  • Workforce guarantees are in place as to quality and competence.
  • Failure by either party is a breach of contract and is subject to legal remedy.
  • New contract negotiations is offered in a competitive environment and will be require to adhere to an RFP proposal that all parties must meet in the RFP DOCUMENTS.
and so forth and so forth...

What it essential does is put parties in a no strike mode which must meet workforce standards and put both party in control of its offering. The RFP would spell out competencies  in a not too confining construct for either parties. Minimum standards must be met for completing standard  production work. Minimum standards must also have a certified expertise for said work capabilities and so forth.

A book needs to written on competency ratings for new line of technology where t Boeing would provide education for meeting those new lines of technology.  The workforce is governed by an arbitrator as a third partner where Both Boeing and the contractor are  subject to its determination throughout the work process. Unions try to gain an advantage as well as the corporation. An independent judging board is needed for any work force body greater than, say a 20  person work body within a company.. Both the corporation and the contractor contribute to the financial support of judging body with a pre-agreed amount based on existing contracts.

This idea of of course would open up the labor market and install standards required to complete the work. A Licensed plumber is certified to a certain level of work where  a newly untrained high school grad would have to go specific training to be available work pool of a contractor to work for  a corporation doing that type of work. Companies are required to train those certified workers for specific work on new technology, whether they are formally educated or from a technical certification school. A Boeing worker may have to have multiple credential in a variety of disciplines and apply those qualifications on the production floor. Engineers would have a formal education or an advanced technical educations to be eligible  for an advanced engineering contract firm that would bid on a project like the 777X. However the RFP would lay down required competency for each position within the contract proposal. Its now a big book for the thousands of workers detailing what Boeing would need and what the contractor would provide in a lump sum price. 

It would force people back to school at many levels if they didn't have a certifies minimum competency from the RFP. In fact, work experience is part of that competence. What is eliminated is the union's control over some arbitrary workforce that is told to strike when there is a more up-to-date concept than the union one, from the 19th century. Both players must be responsible for its care of labor. Its not about cheaper is better or more benefits is better. Its about of providing value for its most cherished asset, its workforce! Both are on trial as Boeing tries to shop its way out of this labor mess. One throws back on Boeing the other just walks away in a new direction. Problem solved!

Boeing's problem have just begun on this endeavor as it not have solved anything. It needs to devise a better way taking care if its future people and future plans. They have not side- step a thing. Twenty thousand people in the Northwest in trained and more ready than any other place in the North West. They have a Union between them and a solution. They will move out just to remove the Union. The Union will collapse as people are starved out and replaced by people needing work every where else out side of Washington. Problem is not solved, and will show up later as production tries to ramp up with a handful of old school assemble people brave enough to move somewhere in a effort of salvaging their lively hood.

Its not hard to say these things, since its been done before throughout the history of manufacturing. The young people coming on in the North West, will be defiant. The old hands will move with the Job. The young ones will seek jobs in a slowly shrinking work pool in Seattle, WA work area. Short straw loses. Its simple.