After considering the Machinists’ decision to reject the new extension offer from Boeing, I have settled on one conclusion: I think it is acceptable, right and correct to expect excellent compensation, health-care benefits and a pension from an employer. These things show that the employee is valued and has merit. However, there seems to be a lack of conversation about the responsibility of the employee? Does the employee exhibit the work equal to the compensation they are demanding?
I am very against expecting something without merit. After hiring in to the Boeing company, I would hear comments about working at the “Lazy B” from friends. During training, senior members would tell me to put my Boeing gloves on, while putting their hands in their pants pockets. When walking down an aisle, I was insisted to walk slower because “We’re on company time … don’t walk so fast…”. And time and time again, I would hear “We get paid by the hour… quality, not quantity,” which of course is true, but it was used as a way to get away with less and to be an ineffective employee. If you have ever worked for Boeing, you know this common attitude to be true.
With that, I think it’s a great exercise that a union can demand recognition and excellence from their employer in terms of compensation. But I also think the employer can and should demand excellence from their employee in the same right.
There are hard workers at Boeing who do an excellent job and are demanding notice and compensated by the Boeing company with a better contract. On the other hand, there are a lot of lazy Machinists who expect compensation without deserve.
As a Machinist myself, who voted Wednesday, I think we all need to recognize our contribution to the company we work for, and also expect more from our attitudes, work ethic and what gives us the platform to expect more, and a better contract. Without us, the aircraft will not be built, but I’m sick of the entitlement I’ve seen at Boeing for “more” while doing less. If we want more, we have to show them we will work for it which is the way to win a better contract.
Joshua D. Molstre