Attitude will keep talent away

The Boeing Co. expects to save more than $100 million by transferring 1,100 research and engineering jobs out of Puget Sound; they will transfer an additional 200 jobs from Southern California to lower-paying locations, according to internal Boeing documents released recently. (One wonders if a cause of this could be Boeing’s fear of China building large jets using Chinese workers at rock bottom wages; China will then be able to compete viciously with western jet manufacturers.)

A few considerations are important:

Where will the $100 million saved end up? Certainly not in wages and salaries to the employees who are being re-located; they “may” be rehired at lower wages elsewhere, with reduced or no benefits. The stock holders and upper management are likely the only ones who will benefit from these changes.

Those making the decisions to relocate the jobs seem cavalier about the adjustments they are forcing the workers and their families to make. Boeing acknowledges that if the laid off workers are rehired, will be getting less pay. It has been reported that morale in the company has taken a plunge to new depths, with quotes such as “Why would I want to build my professional life around Boeing?”

A successful company, which Boeing has been historically, is one that realizes its well-trained, well-treated and satisfied workers are its best investment. The Boeing Co. has long enjoyed huge tax breaks from the Puget Sound community, and loyal support from local politicians for the contracts it has foisted off on current workers.

I fear that Boeing, with its openly callous attitude is going to find it difficult to “gain access to new talent.”

Deanne Lindstrom


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