Washington State to roll out 777X retention plan; here’s what needs to be done

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will announce today his plan to keep the Boeing 777X assembly here, at the Everett plant where the current 777 series is built.

Inslee previously has said the State needs to pass some additional gas taxes to improve the highway transportation infrastructure. We expect him to talk about this further.

Improving STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education has been a goal of Inslee and before him Gov. Christine Gregoire, so we expect more of this.

Tax breaks will likely be a part of his plan. One tax in particular has to go: a 1.9% tax on goods being imported into the Port of Everett; South Carolina doesn’t have this (and, we will guess, neither does Alabama, but we don’t know if it does or doesn’t.)

More of the same.

Beyond these three general areas, we have no idea what Inslee will offer. But we know what is needed for Washington, and these are things that won’t happen.

  1. Washington’s State Constitution is more restrictive than that of other states when it comes to corporate largess. South Carolina, Texas and Alabama (to name three states) have more ability to provide grants and to build facilities for companies than does Washington. We need changes to the Constitution that will allow the State to be on more of an even footing with Southern states. Gov. Gregoire didn’t have the will to propose this. We would be stunned if Gov. Inslee were to do so. There certainly are policy and philosophical issues, and and proposals would be quite controversial, but the debate needs to happen. Constitutional amendments would have to pass the Legislature by super majorities and then go to the people for a vote. Given the partisan divide in the Legislature, we’d view prospects for changes to be dim. Contrast this to South Carolina, which has an open checkbook for Boeing. The various state and local governments ponied up a reported $1bn in concessions and incentives for Boeing to put 787 Line 2 there. The state just approved another $120m in incentives. You don’t think they’d do something similar for the 777X assembly line? Think again.
  2. Washington needs to become a Right to Work State. In 2008, when IAM 751 went on strike against Boeing, it boasted that Washington is the fourth most unionized state in the nation. Gregoire, running for re-election, appeared at a union rally (which made her real popular with Boeing [sarcasm]). Labor says Right to Work is Right to Earn Less. Maybe so (though we think that’s a highly parochial view), but the fact remains: Washington is at a competitive disadvantage to Southern States on this issue, and Boeing’s position is clear. It’s moving work out of Washington (and Kansas, another union state) to Southern Right to Work states. Labor needs to wake up. Boeing may not be able to move jobs in retaliation for labor actions, but there is nothing at all to say it can’t move jobs under other circumstances and it is doing exactly that. But a Democratic governor will never propose Washington become Right to Work and the Legislature will never approve it as long as Democrats control at least one of the two houses, which they do here. But it needs to happen.
  3. Like it or not, Workman’s Compensation and other State-mandated labor costs also need reform. Southern states once again are at an advantage. But as long as Labor holds captive the Governor’s Mansion (there hasn’t been a Republican governor here since the early 1980s) and the Legislature (also Democratic for at least one House for decades), reform will be next to impossible.

Long-time readers know our politics lean Democratic, but business is business and if Washington wants to keep Boeing’s business, these are things that have to be done.

We believe it would be silly for Boeing to assemble to 777X elsewhere. The tooling and skilled workforce are here. It would be costly to move the line to South Carolina.

“To build it elsewhere, “they’d have to move the entire production infrastructure and the cost would be just out of sight,” said the senior engineer, who asked for anonymity since he is not authorized to speak publicly,” wrote Dominic Gates in a May 1 article on the 777X. Well, maybe so. But remember South Carolina ponied up that $1bn for the 787 Line 2. We think they’d do it again. And Boeing is snarfing up hundreds of acres of land in Charleston. It’s not to preserve wetlands and trees, we can tell you that.

Gov. Inslee needs to be bold. He needs to be creative. He needs to be Nixon to China.

We’ll see later today.

61 comments on “Washington State to roll out 777X retention plan; here’s what needs to be done

  1. More corporate welfare but since it is for Boeing that is not a problem…
    Regardless, the other Sates will do the same, there is no such things as business ethics nor human respect in our twisted World – short term profit is the only thing that matter! ;)

  2. You are right, Washington needs to become a right to work state. Look at other states that are heavy into unions and compare those states to right to work states. It is the right to work states that are getting the jobs. There is a reason why Airbus chose Alabama over, say Washington (which has a very large number of aerospace experienced workers). It is the unions. South Carolina is another right to work state, and they grabbed the second B-787 line out from under Washington’s (union) nose. The unions fought Boeing through the NLRB, and lost (or more accurately gave into Boeing with the promise of the B-737MAX line). The fact that Boeing even considered, and Washington (and the unions) fought so hard to prevent, moving the B-737MAX line out of Washington means Boeing thinks such a move will eventually pay for itself. But now the state and unions spent most of their capital in ‘saving’ the B-737 line. This may be a short lived win for the unions, as I believe that Boeing has to launch a B-737 replacement airplane within the next 10-15 years, or so.

    I notice the state and the unions have said nothing about the B-787-10 line. Boeing can just as easily build that version all in SC as it can in WA. Boeing may very well just leave the B-777X line in Washington, as they did for the B-737MAX. Both those airplanes, although huge money makers for Boeing right now, will eventually wind down. Boeing could be setting up to produce the next generation WB and NB airplanes somewhere else.

    The problem, as I see it now, is both the State of Washington and the unions at Boeing have no strategic thinking beyond ‘saving’ the B-777X line. They are no thinking about the fact that one day, both the B-737 and B-777 production will end. With the B-747 and B-767/KC-46 being produced in very low numbers per year (and those production facilities will stay in WA), and the B-757 already out of production, all that leaves is one of two B-787 FALs.

    SC, AL, TX, OK, and even Indiana (which recently became a right to work state) are now all open for business. Texas is attracting businesses and manufacturers from CA, NY, IL, and CO. Will TX, or another state, be able to attract, be able to begin attracting businesses and manufacturing jobs from WA, soon, too?

  3. First compliments for avoiding the word subsidy in the entire text. Couldn’t find it.

    Secondly KCT is right, 737, 747, 767 and 777 production will end at some point and you have to be ready before that. This is more then just the 777X. Boeings essential specialists will no doubt get the right incentives/ compensations if Boeing moves a line the the vast majority of people can be hired, trained and employed elsewhere too. China is far away but there are places inbetween.

      • Except that the linked article states the goal is likely still achievable. Why do you find it so difficult to correctly report what you read elsewhere, and what has this got to do with the 777x?

      • Airlines like British Airways want both theirs delivered around the same time, they can’t afford to have them sitting round Heathrow, and want them when their new schedule starts.

        • A delivery rate of 25 per year is just over 2 per month. BA has historically taken delivery of new build airplanes when they were ready at the OEM facilities. Even if the new BA A-380s are not yet in the schedule, they can still be used for training. What your are saying just does not make sense “we would rather our new airplanes be stored in France than in the UK until we decide we are ready for the airplane”.
          But even if that were the case, that would be just one A-380. Why wasn’t the other one delivered to its customer, and why didn’t Airbus deliver any in January?

      • kc135topboom :
        A delivery rate of 25 per year is just over 2 per month. BA has historically taken delivery of new build airplanes when they were ready at the OEM facilities. Even if the new BA A-380s are not yet in the schedule, they can still be used for training. What your are saying just does not make sense “we would rather our new airplanes be stored in France than in the UK until we decide we are ready for the airplane”.
        But even if that were the case, that would be just one A-380. Why wasn’t the other one delivered to its customer, and why didn’t Airbus deliver any in January?

        You really do have an uncanny ability do draw pretty much any topic onto either the A380 or A400M, with a certain slant to it that highlights actual or potential failures, while usually making a big fuss about nothing.

        Firstly – As the article you posted itself states, the delivery target is still achievable.
        Secondly – BA’s first A380 delivery target was given as July 2013 by BA themselves in September 2012, followed by the 2nd and 3rd in September and November, respectively (http://atwonline.com/aircraft-amp-engines/british-airways-confirms-first-787-a380-delivery-dates). So it really seems everything’s according to schedule with their first A380 delivery. Their first 787 delivery (originally planned for May) is a different story.

  4. As a former union member ( SPEEA ) some might be surprised that I fully agree re the right to work issue. While not all unions abuse the ability to extract dues via right to work rules, its a sad but true commentary that WA state has a few unions who do just that. The most notorious is the WEA- which is so out of control that it took the U.S supreme court to explain to them that the ability to essentially act as a quasi government came with a few necessary obligations- and that despite the WA state supreme court ruling that UNION first amendment rights did NOT trump U.S first amendment rights re political contributions

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/printer_friendly.pl?page=us/000/05-1589.html for the WA state supremes .

    NO. 05-1657
    IN THE SUPREME COURT OF
    THE UNITED STATES
    WASHINGTON,
    Petitioner,
    v.
    WASHINGTON EDUCATION ASSOCIATION,
    Respondent.
    ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI
    TO THE SUPREME COURT OF WASHINGTON

    Where authorized by statute, collective bargaining agreements may contain a union security provision, which requires employees who are not members of the union to pay an agency shop fee to the union as a condition of employment. Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977), held that, to protect these nonmembers’ First Amendment rights, the union is prohibited from using these fees to support its political agenda if the nonmember objects (opts-out). Wash. Rev. Code § 42.17.760 provides additional protection for nonmembers by requiring them to affirmatively consent (opt-in) before their fees may be used for political purposes.
    Does the requirement in Wash. Rev. Code § 42.17.760 that nonmembers must affirmatively consent (opt-in) before their fees may be used to support the union’s political agenda violate the union’s First Amendment rights?

    … the U.S supremes ruled as follows
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/printer_friendly.pl?page=us/000/05-1589.html

    We hold that it does not violate the First Amendment for a State to require that its public-sector unions
    receive affirmative authorization from a nonmember before spending that nonmember’s agency fees for
    election-related purposes. We therefore vacate the judgment of the Supreme Court of Washington and
    remand the cases for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.

    The problem was that WEA had made it near impossible to opt out of paying for political issues

    +++

    But back to Boeing. For many years ( until 2001 ) SPEEA did not have agency fee. As a result of the strike in 2001, and much drum beating, SPEEA got agency fee.

    On one level it makes sense that since all members of a bargaining unit should help to pay for union related issues, a look around the country shows that agency fee is typically abused, since many make opting out a bcratic nightmare for those who do elect to pay ONLY for UNION related stuff.

    While SPEEA NOW does not make the issue overly burdensome- it is a sad commentary that it took several years of complaints including a congressional hearing and an NLRB rulings to get SPEEA to do it the right way and make an reasonably correct audit showing true expenditures for union actions in support of the true union related things re contracts, protection of members, etc.

    Promises were made that if agency fee was voted in by ALL bargaining unit members, fees and dues would be reduced. That of course never happened.

    SPEEA does not contribute or directly support political persons or issues. But hidden from most everyone is a typical find the peanut under the shell game.

    Currently there are about 1300 agency fee payers out of a total 23,000 feepayers AND members. ( Source LM2- a government form required by DOL )

    However -buried in the financial data one can find ( by requesting a BECK audit also made every year ) that over 1 million $$ goes to per capita dues paid to IFPTE- which in turn uses about 25-30 percent of that money to send to AFL-CIO for non union ‘ business’ – eg support the democrat of Trumkas choice ” –

    Overall, in SPEEA, about 80 percent of the dues paid are used for union issues, and 20 percent for non union.

    But it is anything but transparent.

    An interesting little oddity – until a few years ago, the state with the highest percentage union membership of Boeing workers was NOT washington. It was Kansas. Missteps and bullying of non members in Kansas by certain elements resulted in decertification.

    NUff said on this issue- bottom line IMO – IF union(S) were more open- transparent in those states who do have agency fee- right to work would be a non issue.

    At the same time – company management needs someone to keep them from mentally beating up and hosing the employees with unethical and abusive managers and supervisors. Thus a union IS needed.

  5. Washington should assume that Boeing has already made a final decision to depart the state entirely over the next decade or so. Washington should continue to pretend that it is sincerely devoted to keeping Boeing here, by proposing huge incentives and subsidies that South Carolina would have to match or beat. Raise the market price for being a RTW state. Kind of like Reagan did with the Soviets. South Carolina and the other RTW states surely believe that it will pencil out for them to do things like spend billions in taxpayer money on infrastructure improvements that benefit Boeing, or fund worker’s comp using more regressive taxes (or just skimp on worker’s comp and let disabled workers and charities figure things out). That’s their grand theory. The labor savings to Boeing might pay off over 20 or 30 years, they might not. The benefits to the RTW states might pay off, they might not.

    Having an additional 10,000 hobs in your state sounds good, but when they’re subject to regular layoffs, interrupted or no health insurance benefits, and require constant, expensive, publically-funded training and schooling, the breakeven point might never arrive. OTOH, if the alternative for your state’s residents is unemployment, then perhaps that’s all an economic risk worth taking.

    • The question is; can Washington out bid any RTW state to keep Boeing? The other question would be; will the none Boeing affiliated tax payers of Washington put up with that?

      • No, it can’t. Washington’s goal should not be to win the bidding. It should be to lose, but also to drive up the cost for RTW states to compete with Washington.

  6. EADS blatently woo”s other markets by drip feeding token cross continent production lines on the back off being seen as a true pan european manufacturer that is experienced in third party sourcing. As a european manufacturer it has both the technical prowess & political impartiality to set up where the US & certainly Boeing would struggle.

    Boeing seemingly has no inclination to address it’s diminishing market by bowing to set up similar cross continent lines in an effort to stimulate lost markets, the advantages of localised production albeit token numbers can be huge.

    Clearly there are sways of the world where Boeing would struggle to enter for political reasons, as a global player there are equally areas where Boeing could regain lost market share where political considerations are more favourable.

    Setting aside the political map that Boeing confronts the debacle 787 surrounding third party sourcing may well have put the frightners on a Boeing considering similar cross continental manufacturing, meanwhile the seemingly relentless march of EADS & it’s market share continues.

    • That’s an interesting comment. There’s also IMO an additional factor. While Boeing’s workforce in the US seems to be ever so insulated to what the talent the world at large has to offer, Airbus does as tech savvy companies usually do, and that his to try to hire the most talented individuals from around the world. And as you said, the relentless march of ever increasing market share for Airbus doesn’t seem to subside.

      Foreign workers for U.S. jobs a rarity at Boeing

      Boeing competes for some of the same high-tech talent as Microsoft, Amazon and others. And yet unlike those companies, the jet maker recruits almost exclusively among U.S. workers.

      Excerpts:

      Boeing is an old manufacturer with a high-tech edge, with tens of thousands of aerospace engineers, software developers, database administrators and network architects among its employees.

      Yet unlike such firms as Microsoft and Amazon, Boeing rarely hires foreign workers.

      Out of 86,000 employees in Washington state — twice as many as Microsoft — Boeing hired just eight new foreigners with H-1B visas in fiscal 2012. By contrast, Microsoft added 1,497 new visa workers during that time.

      Why the discrepancy?

      For one thing, Boeing already has offshored a significant share of its engineering work to suppliers and design centers in Japan, Russia and elsewhere. For example, Boeing did only half the engineering work itself on the 787-8, its first Dreamliner model.

      Boeing also is heavily unionized, with a vocal labor force intent on job preservation.

      http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020924091_h1bsidexml.html

      AIRBUS’ PRIORITIES:

      • Reinforce performance management and
      support managers in leading a high
      performance culture
      • Restore employee engagement through yearly
      surveys and resulting action plans, starting
      in 2009
      • Ensure succession planning is in place for all
      experts and key managers
      Recruit more women, more non-Airbus
      nationals, and more non-European employees

      • Establish constructive, open, objective,
      responsive and transparent social dialogue
      and partnerships
      • Further develop the key competencies of the
      company
      • Launch a corporate foundation</blockquote

      http://www.obsa.org/Lists/Documentacion/Attachments/144/Part_III_Social_EN.pdf

      • And yet people find a way. I work with Vietnamese, Britons, ethinic Chinese from all over, South Africans, Indians, and one guy who I think is from Cameroon or something like that. They’re permanent residents though, so they have green cards or citizenship rather than H1B visas. The driving factor here is export control laws rather than some kind of closed-mindedness. But, you know, keep making assumptions.

      • No, I’m not making assumptions at all. Americans have long assumed that the world’s best and brightest naturally want to come to the US to study and to work. However, all that is changing. This new reluctance among “the best and the brightest” to come to the United States and stay, reflects an appreciation of just how hard the US government makes it to establish residency.

        While the IT industry in the US tries to hire the most talented foreign individuals, that is not the case for the US aerospace industry where most, if not all, contractors want all of their employees to be eligible for security clearances as they want the ability to switch you over to a project requiring secured work should the need arise. That formula has worked up until now. However, will it work in the future?

        Boeing Commercial Airplanes could therefore find themselves at a competitive disadvantage to Airbus in the future, due to the latter winning the competition for global aerospace talent more or less on walkover.

        “It’s unfortunate for the United States that a lot of talented and skilled people have to leave the country, people who want to be there and can contribute to the tax revenue,” he said.

        The kinds of high-tech firms that hire STEM grads have long argued that it’s not a matter of hiring foreigners at the expense of U.S.-born workers. There’s a widening gap in the demand for talent and supply of STEM grads, one that could reach 230,000 by 2018, according to a Georgetown University study.

        Michael Moritz, a billionaire venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, explained that the tech industry “has an inexhaustible appetite that cannot be satisfied” by simply hiring talented Americans.

        “You have an entire technology industry fighting over a fairly small pool of qualified people. All we’re trying to do is expand that pool,” Moritz said.

        http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/31/smallbusiness/stem-immigrants/index.html

        The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent

        In The Immigrant Exodus, Wadhwa addresses:

        Why immigrants are critical to America’s economic development and intellectual capital.

        The rise and decline of the immigrant-powered startup machine in America.

        Why immigrants are leaving America.

        Why the visa system is broken and the impact this has had on skilled immigrants.

        How the rest of the world is trying to replicate the success of Silicon Valley and recruit the best global talent.

        http://wdp.wharton.upenn.edu/books/the-immigrant-exodus/

  7. Since the EIS of the 777 and 737NG, Boeing, it seems, has invested very little capital at their production facilities in Washington State. Also, due to the track record of Boeing’s top management and their decision to massively invest in new very expensive production facilities outside the state of Washington since the turn of the century, it shouldn’t IMO give credence to the idea that the all new wing for the 777X, which requires massive all new production facilities, would necessarily be built in or around Everett. What is important to keep in mind, however, is not feel-good words uttered at festive occasions, but the actions that’s been taken by Boeing during the last decade. All that “evidence” points in the direction of Boeing not wanting to set up new expensive manufacturing facilities in the State of Washington. They didn’t do it on the 787, why should they do it now for the 777X? Hence my hunch that the 777X-wing will be built in Charleston, South Carolina.

    • You don’t need a Panamax to carry the big 777 wings. A ship travels from Mobile to Seattle in about 2 weeks.

      Here are some airbus wings on their way to Toulouse: http://shipfinder.co/ship/228025700

      It just depends on the simple math if a two weeks delay is cheaper than an expensive workforce.

      • Or they could just move the 777 FAL to Charleston as well. Fuselage production would likely remain in Everett, using the existing fuselage production infrastructure.

  8. Regarding 777X tooling, as I understand it the 777X will have a totally new composite wing, the fuselage frames will be redesigned to allow a wider interior cross section, and the aluminum components will be aluminum-lithium alloy. This suggests considerable retooling will be necessary.

    I wonder more about the capital costs of the facilities. The Everett facility is big, and can handle big planes like the 747 and 777. The 747 has a few years left, the 767 is only being kept alive because of the KC-46 (although I still think there is a need for a 767-8), so I can’t see Boeing leaving Everett to the proverbial tumbleweeds.

  9. Andreas :
    Except that the linked article states the goal is likely still achievable. Why do you find it so difficult to correctly report what you read elsewhere, and what has this got to do with the 777x?

    I never said Airbus could not deliver 25 A-380s this year. I said that since they did not deliver any of them in two different months, so far this year, it was going to be difficult to deliver 25 this year.

    • In 2012, Airbus delivered 4 A380s in Q1, 6 A380s in Q2, 7 A380s in Q3 and 13 A380s in Q4.

      In 2013, Airbus delivered 4 A380s in Q1, and 2 so far in Q2.

      So, what’s the issue?

      • Interesting page. You can also see the seat configuration for unpaid G-XLEA to G-XLEC: 469 seats for these XL airbuses. Just 69 seats more than a 777X will have.

      • Apparently, Cebu Pacific is about to put an A330-300 into service with a capacity of 436 seats. Hence, talking about “number of seats” is meaningless if it’s not like-for-like. The only metric which IMO would be meaningful to compare is floorspace. 777-9X’s floor area will be around 345m2 while the A380-800’s floor area is roughly 545m2. Perhaps you can now go and make a new seat capacity comparison… ;-)

  10. Thet right to work states is not the main issue – it is whether there are unions present or not and what kind of relations the union has with the company. The right to organize is protected in US so once a union is established it is pretty much a permanent situation short of eliminating the facility. The issue of right-to-work is that it makes it much harder (but not impossible) to establish a union. It is likely that the Kansas – Boeing unions were established long ago (perhaps even around WWII era). Boeing SC doesn’t have unions yet, and the workers have voted once not to unionize – probably because they know they will lose a major advantage over Washington as to where work is placed.

    Although much is made of the lower wages in union vs. not there are other potentially larger issues in play. First is work rules and added overheads – for instance outside trucking and forklift operators are one union (Teamsters for Boeing) and not allowed to move material inside a building. Conversely internal material handlers (IAM) can’t work outside so everything has to be double handled with different equipment which decreases efficiency.

    Strict job classifications and defined job roles make it much harder to incorporate lean efficient production systems – which is a factor in the auto industry moving production south. GM set up Saturn in NC with UAW workers with similar pay scales, but the contract was more like a pamphlet than a reference book and had almost none of the work rule issues in it.

    The other huge cost to a company is a strike. The strikes against Boeing in the last decade or so cost huge sums of money (hundreds of millions some say) and damaged reputation with the customers. SPEEA was benign until 2001 having never struck before, but once it did I’m sure it factored into where engineering work was placed. The alternatives for the company is to give the unions anything they want to avoid a strike.

    To Don’s comment about agency fee – Boeing tech workers don’t have to join the union but now they have to pay due regardless. But they lose the right to vote if you don’t join. SPEEA brags about it’s 96% union membership. Not joining the union is equivalent to “Taxation without Representation” which started the Revolutionary war and why the United States is not New England :-)

    • ” The right to organize is protected in US so once a union is established it is pretty much a permanent situation short of eliminating the facility.”

      That is a big part of the problem. When union members decide, individually or collectively, the union no longer represents their interest, they cannot leave the union, or disband it. It is permanent, and the NLRB, and many states, will fight against those union members and for the union. This leaves the union member with only one option, resign their position within the company and hope to find another job that pays near what they were making.

      • …That is a big part of the problem. When union members decide, individually or collectively, the union no longer represents their interest, they cannot leave the union, or disband it. …

        WRONG WRONG WRONG

        Members can and do decertify unions when a majority vote to decertify. Does it ever happen ? YES-

        A significant SPEEA bargaining unit in Wichita voted to decertify their unit in 2007.

        http://www.bizjournals.com/wichita/stories/2007/06/18/daily17.html

        Technical and professional workers at Boeing Integrated Defense Systems Wichita are now working without a labor union.

        The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace’s Wichita Technical Professional Unit was decertified by a vote of 408 to 353.

        SPEEA’s contract with Boeing Wichita covered more than 900 employees.

        “We’re glad a majority of employees recognized that we work for a good company and a company that we can trust,” says Tedd Thelen, one of the organizers of the decertification election. “We are very thrilled that we can represent our own careers instead of a having an intermediary speak between ourselves and the company.”

        A separate SPEEA unit that represents approximately 700 Boeing Wichita engineers was not part of the decertification effort.
        +++++

        As to why- and the repercussions to SPEEA staff and Officers involved – that is another story not pertinent here.

        http://www.komonews.com/news/local/58650767.html

        CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Workers at a South Carolina Boeing Co. plant have voted against continued representation by a union as the company considers the site for a second assembly line for its new 787 wide-body jetliner.

        Workers at the North Charleston plant, which makes fuselage sections for the 787, voted 199-68 Thursday against continued representation by the International Association of Machinists.

        Anyone who wants to challenge the vote has seven days to file an objection before the results are certified, Eslinger said.

        The workers, by a slim margin, voted for union representation when the plant was owned by Vought. Boeing last month bought the plant from Vought for $580 million plus about $420 million in debt forgiveness.

        The decertification vote came as Boeing considers the South Carolina plant for a second assembly line for its new 787 jetliner.

        Robert Wood, an IAM spokesman in the Southeast U.S., said the union leaves decisions about representation up to its membership.

        +++

    • …To Don’s comment about agency fee – Boeing tech workers don’t have to join the union but now they have to pay due regardless. But they lose the right to vote if you don’t join. SPEEA brags about it’s 96% union membership. Not joining the union is equivalent to “Taxation without Representation” which started the Revolutionary war and why the United States is not New England ..

      Partially right but somehow spun a bit .. Both Techs and Profs pay the same in all cases

      First – Agency fee has actually 3 modes re dues – and one mode re voting. They cannot vote

      Agency fee payers in this state and most states ” pay” dues/taxes/fees in three categories

      1) Same as regular dues – taken out of paycheck once a month just like members dues. Boeing will only take ONE amount out of check which is determined by SPEEA and set at 85 % of AVERAGE hourly pay for the whole bargaining unit(S) Seattle and Wichita and . . .

      About 700 or so pay this way

      2) A reduced rate ( approx 80 percent ) as determined by a yearly Beck Objector Auit of questionable accuracy since it does not have to meet standards, and SPEEA is solely the judge of what is included as ” union” business. But since this amount is less than regular dues, Boeing will not process- Instead such Beck Objectors must pay by cash or check or possibly credit card at least quarterly. ( About 600 pay this way ) Hard to determine since LM2 does not split out the type one or type 2 above re payments. Current total is about 1300 for both

      3) Religious objectors – About a few hundred use this category. They do NOT make any payments to SPEEA. They must make equivalent to dues payments to an IRS approved NON religious charity of their choice – AND present a receipt to SPEEA periodically as proof they have done so. Accordingly they do not ‘ count’ as members or feepayers in LM2, 990, or Beck Audits

      The real problems with agency fees are the abuse of process by most unions, and often the phony games played in the Beck audits. SPEEA is relatively clean on these issues now- but for a decade, had several non- standard union cost elements stuffed into the Beck audits.
      Members didn’t care or know, Nonmembers could not get access to union financial records in enough detail , and the auditor simply filled inn new numbers given by SPEEA every year.

      ALL members and john Q public can get copies of IRS 990 forms simply by asking ( 3 years worth ) either in writing or in person at any SPEEA office – membership or name or ID NOT required. Few do. It took me 3 years and a complaint to IRS to force SPEEA to agree to follow long standing IRS regs on that issue.

      John Q Public can also access almost any large union financial data for roughly then last decade ( since about 2001-2002 ) on a public DOL site.

      Type in Google DOL ERDS

      http://kcerds.dol-esa.gov/query/getOrgQry.do

      Search by a variety of methods/keywords as city state name local etc or in the case of
      SPEEA simply enter in the top line for file number 043598

      you can get LM2 data back to 200-2001, and download data since 2005 in spreadsheet format.

      OR one can again ask SPEEA to send you a pdf copy from their files

      However- none of the above applies to the annual BECK audit. Usually only supplied to BECK objectors as required by law.

      Hope that clarifies the membership or dues issues

  11. kc135topboom :
    A delivery rate of 25 per year is just over 2 per month. BA has historically taken delivery of new build airplanes when they were ready at the OEM facilities. Even if the new BA A-380s are not yet in the schedule, they can still be used for training. What your are saying just does not make sense “we would rather our new airplanes be stored in France than in the UK until we decide we are ready for the airplane”.
    But even if that were the case, that would be just one A-380. Why wasn’t the other one delivered to its customer, and why didn’t Airbus deliver any in January?

    Because averages are meaningless? They didn’t deliver 2.5/month in 2012 either, and still managed their target delivery number of 30. So what?

    And why BA wouldn’t want to take delivery before they need them, maybe because they don’t want to fork over the money before the asset can be made useful? So yes, they are better with the plane stored in France, and the money stored in BA’s bank account, than the other way round.They decided a long time ago when they would be ready for the airplane and informed their supplier accordingly. Buying a plane is not the same as going to FrozenYo for a bucket of peanut-butter taste frozen yoghurt just because you feel like it.

  12. MHalblaub :
    Interesting page. You can also see the seat configuration for unpaid G-XLEA to G-XLEC: 469 seats for these XL airbuses. Just 69 seats more than a 777X will have.

    OV-099, pls stop this apples for apples thing. Boeing likes the 469 seats on the 8i and 407 on the 777-9X much better. It’s useful for per seat comparisons.. Boeing folks like to see per seat (e.g CASM) costs look good. So Boeing gives it to them. Never let reality stand in the way of a good story line. Found out yrs ago.

    http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/2610589/

    • That “aviation specialist” in your link seems to be more of an “aviation-facts-distorter” than an actual “specialist”. For example, he exaggerates the true amount of effective floor space by about 7 percent for the Intercontinental, while for the A380 he only exaggerates the number for the effective floor area by less than 1.5 percent.

      As for the generic seating arrangement in the Boeing provided drawing, it looks like the business class has the same pitch as that of today’s premium economy, while the 61″ seat pitch for first class is a long way away from the standard of today’s lie flat seats in a 1-2-1 seating configuration. In roughly the same space where Boeing seats 14 first class passengers, first class galley and first class toilets, Lufthansa seats just 8 first class passengers, galley and toilets.

      http://www.lufthansa.com/de/en/Seat-maps

      Lots of hilarious comments in that link of yours. People want to see what they want to see.

      • You may notice LH has only 8 F seats in all their jets with a first class section, not just the B-747-8I, but even the A-380, also. The B-748 has up to 92 C seats in two configurations for the B-748, and as few as 262 M and as many as 298M seats. For F and C the B-748 is very close to the A-380 (8F, 98C, and 420M).

      • Well, my point was rather the minimum floor space requirements for a state-of-the-art first class section, first class galley and first class toilets. It doesn’t matter if it’s an A388, 747-8 or an A330, the minimum requirements are still there, although Lufthansa’s A380s have two extra large washrooms on board.

        What matters, of course, is floor space. Again, the 747-8I has a floor area of 415m2, while the A388 has a floor area of 545m2; or about 31 percent greater floor space than the 747-8I. If the 747-8i would have 467 seats in three classes, then in a like-for-like comparison, the A388 would have about
        600 seats in three classes.

    • Next time I’ll use the /sarcasm or /joke tag.

      I was once scheduled for a LAN A340 but due to problems a 767 was at the gate. We all get squeezed in…

  13. Reply to Fact Check, # 13. You raise a good point. B has an good un-used facility there, and good workers, altho I do not know the state of B’s relationship with them. Their is also Long Beach. The issue of foreign workers is now becoming part of the immigration reform bill, so perhaps there will be a sensible solution there. The pressure from tech business in very great.

  14. On one hand, the city of Everett, WA won’t even allow Boeing to expand their parking lot at their facility but somehow they are going to expand their facility there? And where will these employees park? Up and down the road leading into the plant?

    And on the other hand you have the city of Charleston who will promise everything and then some to get Boeing to come and no unions to deal with.

    Any real doubt what Boeing chooses?

  15. From Airbus point of view, I’m sure that if Boeing moves to another state than Washington, it would be good news. The cost of non-quality is much higher than the cost of unionized employees.
    Boeing makes a lot of money, especially with the 777. Why Boeing would need tax breaks or a Right-to-Work state ? They have already a huge advantage against Airbus : the weak Dollar. If they want to make even more profit, they just need to lower the salary of their managers.

    • Why does BA want to go to RTW states and cheaper labor and lower quality.

      Can you spell Jack welch wannabees on BOD plus several MDC executives.

      Getting rid of unions was always a Welch priority- along with treating employees like dirt.

      for details of the effects read the book ‘ Turbulence’ ( Boeing and the state of american workers and management ) for what happened when the above crowd came to power.

      The result is known as the 7 late 7 and the triumph of outsourcing while eliminating vendor oversight.

      • Don, workers in RTW states do not produce lower quality products! The B-787s produced in SC are of the same quality as those produced in WA. Boeing and Airbus buy subsystems, assemblies, and raw products produced in RTW states and from non-union shops.

  16. Scott, maybe a topic to look into, the 777X technology.

    What we hear is that it will have a new wing, new engines, narrower beams for a wider cabin, new interiors, different fuseage lenghts, new skin materials, folding tips, 787 avionics suite.

    What’s 777 about this aircraft? How many billions and years will it really take? At some point a new aircraft become a better idea.. Maybe that’s why it takes Boeing so long (5-6 years) to launch the 777X?

    • If the 748 turned out to be an 80% new aircraft, we expect the 777X to be the same. We expect MAX to be at least 50% if not far higher different than the 737NG, which was 80% different than the Classic.

      • I don’t see how the MAX could be at least 50% new while retaining the same wing and fuselage. Even taking the engine into account.

  17. kc135topboom :
    Don, workers in RTW states do not produce lower quality products! The B-787s produced in SC are of the same quality as those produced in WA. Boeing and Airbus buy subsystems, assemblies, and raw products produced in RTW states and from non-union shops.

    I suggest you communicate that theory to those in Seattle who have had to fix quality issues from day one- The quality is lower for several reasons- 1) minimum training, 2) attitude , 3) less oversight ( BA had to buy the Vought facility )- which had/has much lower quality than their texas facility for example. ( which is also a RTW state )

    Its true that lowers quality is NOT inherent in RTW states, take Wichita for example.

    But it does take many years of experience in many kinds of assembly or design jobs to get up to speed.

    And as to the 7 late 7s from SC- the quality of same has yet to be discovered- and the quality of parts from SC sent to everett are still below par ( both in design issues and manufacturing issues ) at least according to several of my friends who ARE specifically knowledgeable of the facts- and have to fix or correct such items. But in fairness, many of the outsourced parts have similar problems, both from union and non union shops.

    And then consider the 7 late 7 management decision to ship most of the manufacturing engineering/planning jobs not only away from the shop floor- but out of state- to Russia !

    The ” quality ” effects of that will not show up for several months.

    Regardless of source- BA is following two of the three significant mantras- Faster-Cheaper- better.

    But cheer up – the same ex-spurts who ran the 7 late 7 off the tracks and cliff are now working 737 max program.

  18. Oh yes, Right to work is the answer to everything. Cheaper labor makes better products! That must be why Embraer, Sukhoi and Comac are biting at the heels of the big two, with their lower cost labor and all…
    meanwhile, in Yurp, BA’s actual competitor certainly does not enjoy cheaper labor – yet still they manage to compete (don’t start on subsidies, all gov’ts do it – and you think Brazil wouldn’t pay through the nose to have a toehold in the large commercial market?)

    I’d turn it around. Expensive labor makes better products. Expensive labor makes the case for automation easier. It motivates people to go through expensive and high quality education. It allows for a vibrant and healthy local economy and encourages people to take risks – resulting in new and better products. Finally, it pulls all the external talent in. A great mechanic or engineer will make the invest to move, as long as he (or she of course) can be sure of better and more stable work.

    Don’t shoot me down immediately, but the reason the south lost the war was (in large part) due to cheap labor. They didn’t have the automation, the supply line optimization or infrastructure of the north.

    • ikkeman :
      BA’s actual competitor certainly does not enjoy cheaper labor – yet still they manage to compete (don’t start on subsidies, all gov’ts do it

      In fact, Scott’s whole article started based on how many subsidies (chiefly in the shape of tax breaks) South Carolina has already given Boeing and may be willing to give them again to lure more work their way.

  19. Pingback: Will Washington become a right-to-work state to win Boeing’s 777X? | US Senators

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  26. ALL tax payers money to Boeing need to be bond issues since the tax payer are not Boeing stock holders
    but 18 Billions of tax payer money for the 777-X is this new build made from gold does include a sport team and golf course on the roof

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