Boeing Strike Partially Settled, Looks Like Union Lost on Outsourcing

Boeing Works Deal with Machinists but it appears that Engineers and Techies Might Strike.

on the heels of a tentative agreement to settle a strike with its machinists, immediately faces contract negotiations with its engineer and technical workers union, an effort promising to be just as heated and contentious as the one that prompted the machinists to walk out for seven weeks

And on outsourcing:

For Boeing's part, the manufacturer said it was able to retain flexibility to manage its business, a hint to its increased reliance on outsourcing. It was also able to secure a longer-term contract than in prior years, crucial for a company with a poor record of suffering production halts during labor-contract negotiations.

The question is by not getting anywhere on outsourcing, is this all mute and can Boeing simply fire workers anyway?

Blogging Stocks, of all places, notes that outsourcing has actually hurt Boeing:

Limiting outsourcing could be good for Boeing and the workers depending on how it's accomplished. One of the reasons for the delay in delivering its very popular 787 aircraft was that Boeing outsourced the majority of the design and manufacture of the components and later discovered that it was not doing enough to manage those subcontractors. As a result, Boeing suffered unpleasant surprises in its delivery schedule.

Outsourcing and labor arbitrage are a serious threat to Engineers and Technical workers and if the reports are right, their union, the SPEAA might strike:

Boeing's technical work force, much like the striking Machinists, is anxious over the global-partner strategy used on the 787 Dreamliner as well as the hiring of thousands of non-Boeing engineering contractors for in-house work.

Ray Goforth, executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), says the 787 outsourcing has produced program delays unprecedented in Boeing history and has fueled "disdain for corporate management."

Most Engineers are not members of a union so having a Professional Union bring the labor arbitrage of Scientists and Engineers to the forefront and in the public view can only be a good thing for career Professionals. Go SPEEA!

Subject Meta: 

Forum Categories: