Regarding Boeing, the Machinists and our economy in the state: Aerospace supports more than just Boeing jobs — we have heard the economic aerospace support structure (i.e., aerospace “feeder” businesses) account directly for four additional quality jobs for every Boeing job. Indirectly for many more.
Although Boeing did not win many PR points in the way they hurriedly approached the Machinists; the Machinists have an obligation to the entire state just the same. Their vote directly affects not only the four other jobs besides theirs, but everything from residential and commercial property values, businesses, property taxes for schools, fire districts, police — you name it. Just look at Detroit.
It’s obvious that Boeing would have a stretch to locate a brand new production line somewhere else and get that facility up to the capacity to support deliveries — South Carolina is barely over one 787 per month after two years. That rate won’t support customer commitments from Boeing. Boeing know this. Long Beach is a viable option, 5,000 experienced C-17 mechanics can step right in and build aircraft. Facilities are in place. Boeing’s “Douglas” roots are in Los Angeles. But California is expensive to do business in.
Boeing knows it cannot afford another slow ramp up with a new product. The Dubai Airshow is a week away and customers want assurances they will get their product on time, before any new 777X order is announced, hence the urgency from Boeing. But these are changing times with a world component. Don’t fixate on what executive salaries are — employees who run the company have always been compensated much more than those who do not run the company.
I am one of those feeder jobs in a small aerospace company. I enjoy my position, and I have good benefits, but certainly not Boeing benefits. If Boeing moves, these “feeder” companies will also move or close. Guaranteed. I for one couldn’t live in the land of “Deliverance.”