Boeing Gets Last Laugh?
By: J.J. Jackson
Organized Labor was all aglow. After the National Labor Relations Board decided it was going to tell Boeing that the company could not shift production from its union shop in Seattle to its non-union shop in South Carolina, there was reason to celebrate. Big Labor had successfully enlisted its allies in Big Government to infringe upon the economic liberty of Americans and a company in order to protect itself. There were smiles all around among the workers and their leaders.
But, as fate would have it, reality would not be denied. As always, when reality is bent, it snaps right back to thwack the knuckles of those who foolishly try such an impossible feat.
Earlier this month Boeing announced that, due to costs, it would shut down its unionized plant in Kansas City. The aftermath? 2,160 employees, including many union employees, are going to be shown the door and given pink slips. It does not escape notice that perhaps some of these jobs in Kansas City might have been able to be saved had Boeing been allowed to go ahead with its original plans for operations in South Carolina and saved money in that regard.
Some of the work from the Kansas City plant will be diverted to Oklahoma City. Boeing operates a non-union facility there according to published reports on the company’s plans moving forward. Sounds to me like, if they are going to be consistent, the NLRB should be prepared to meddle here too. That is if they value the union workers in Kansas City as much as the ones in Seattle. Or was this part of the deal all along? Was it decided that the union workers in Kansas City would be sacrificed to save the union workers in Seattle? It is hard to say with as secretive as the Obama Administration is. But if the NLRB does not act on behalf of the Kansas City union members it is a very real question that must be asked.
The union machinists and engineers at the Kansas City facility are obviously upset by the news of their plant closing. As are some elected officials in Kansas who went to bat for Boeing over the issue with the South Carolina plant. They thought they could buy them some good will and that this good will would prevent Boeing from touching the local plant.
The tiff between Boeing, the Seattle union and South Carolina was front page news for the longest time. Outside of Kansas, however, the end of an 85-year era with Boeing as a major employer in the State is barely garnering any news. Almost as though the hypocrisy is so blatant that not even the mainstream media wants to draw attention to it. After all, they cannot dare cast President Obama as uncaring about the plight of union workers in America after they spent months pumping him up and trumpeting his interference with Boeing’s “sinister” plans to undercut organized labor. Right?
In the end it seems as though Boeing gets the last laugh. It still gets to cut costs. It still gets to shed itself of untenable labor agreements which it allowed itself to be strong armed into accepting. And most importantly it still gets to make airplanes.
Where is your union now? And where is your messiah to save you all of you? All of you who put your faith in President Obama as the one man capable of distorting reality should ask yourself these questions. The answer will not be to your liking. But you should still ask the question.
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com. He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts The Right Things. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at Liberty Reborn.