In response to the letter, “Pensions are not grandfathered in,” on the Boeing contract offer, it appears that reality is not part of the writer’s calculus. Note: Boeing has all the cards. They do not need Everett, like they did 30 years ago. When they moved their headquarters to Chicago, that was a warning for the Machinist’s Union to rethink their strategy for future negotiations. They didn’t listen. When Boeing opened the plant in South Carolina, that was a giant, flashing neon billboard, placed directly in front of the Machinist Union headquarters, stating that long, destructive and expensive strikes will no longer be tolerated.
Now, Boeing is negotiating with other states and cities for construction of the 777X. So, what does the letter writer want to talk about? An anachronistic defined benefit retirement program, that has been going the way of the dodo bird in private industry for decades. The last Machinists strike cost Boeing billions in lost revenue and was a major hit to their stellar reputation in the airplane industry. The writer wonders why Boeing doesn’t offer the two-tier retirement program to the Machinists? Is she kidding? Reality: It is far more important to focus on jobs (direct and indirect), job security (union and non-union) and Boeing jobs for future generations; not to mention tax income from the areas largest employer. We need Boeing more than they need us.