Major strike now?

The timing of the Boeing strike seems…odd. I mean I know that it isn’t up to these employees to prop the economy, but it just seems a bit like cutting off your own foot.

Well, from what I understand, Boeing, unlike the economy in general, is actually doing quite well, with lots of orders for new (read: more fuel efficient) planes. So the strike makes good sense from that perspective.

We’ll see. From what I’ve read, the Boeing offer was actually pretty good, but didn’t offer long term (more than 3 year) stability for Boeing workers.

The article says that the salary and benefits increase over a three year period would have been about 34k on average (per worker). I have no comparison. I also agree that Boeing is doing fine (I have a relative who works there). But strikes don’t help that, obviously. And if any of these people actually lose their jobs over this, where would they go? It’s just the timing that seems off.

Well, in terms of when to hold a strike, generally you want to hold it when the company is doing well and needs workers, rather than when business is slow. That’s how you hurt the company – make the losses real. I doubt they’re going to lay off too many folks at a time when they can barely keep up with demand.

But I could be wrong…

I’m not sure what you guys mean by “timing” in this case. Boeing machinists work under multi-year contracts and the most recent one is now up. So they are negotiating a new deal and feel Boeing should offer more because the company is doing well. It’s very normal for unions to threaten and then go on strike under these circumstances.

And no one will lose their jobs over this unless Boeing loses orders, and it’s not like Airbus is sitting around with unused capacity themselves.

On NPR they said a couple of things about this strike was different from your typical strike situation. First off, they said employment was actually increasing for the Boeing workers, that they’d added like 7,000 jobs in the last couple years. Secondly, they said Boeing had some sort of insane backlog, like 8 years’ worth, most coming from foreign airlines, who (supposedly) weren’t caught in an economic downturn (though I don’t see how those guys wouldn’t be affected by rising fuel prices).

So this situation seems unique in today’s work environment.