Week 6: IAM-Boeing strike

October 17:

MarketWatch: Boeing is expected to finally reveal the damage caused by the IAM strike during its earnings call October 22. This is a matter of much speculation: some analysts figured Boeing was losing between $100m-$110m a day, or $3bn+ a month–which is higher than the monthly revenue reported in the second quarter. We tried to back out the non-affected units of Boeing Commercial Aircraft and estimated the revenue loss at $75m-$83m a day. Dominic Gates at The Seattle Times, in a well researched article, estimated that Boeing is losing $1.3bn a month in cash, or $43.3m a day. Perhaps we’ll find out on the 22nd.

October 16:

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Columnist Bill Virgin asks the question: Can Boeing reverse outsourcing even if it wanted to?

Kansas.com: Spirit AeroSystems, a major supplier to Boeing for the 737, 747 and 787 programs, may have to begin layoffs as the strike as Boeing continues. Spirit originally went to a three day work week when Boeing’s IAM walked off the job.

October 15:

Seattle Post Intelligencer: James Wallace gives this report about what went wrong in the IAM-Boeing negotiations.

Seattle Times: Dominic Gates has this report about the failed negotiations.

Everett Herald: Here’s its report on the collapse.

The Street.com: Ted Reed takes a look at the analogy used by Boeing to the auto industry in arguing its hard-line position.

October 14:

It’s election season and a candidate for the Democratic State House of Representatives in the district where we live is supporting the IAM strike against Boeing. He’s asking for wood for the burn barrels used by striking members to stay warm. OK, this makes sense, now that it’s getting cold in the Seattle area. But he goes on to ask for volunteers to help man the picket lines.

Say what? The IAM has 27,000 members, most in the Seattle area (other striking locations are in Wichita, KS, and someplace in California). With 27,000 members on strike, the IAM needs outside volunteers to man the picket lines? We previously heard a story from Boeing management that at Boeing’s Renton plant that Boeing’s security guard talked with some picketers and found they had been hired to walk the picket line. We don’t know if this story is true or apocryphal but the story from the Democratic candidate is true; we got the email to prove it.

What gives? Where is the solidarity? Why aren’t the union members manning their own lines in sufficient numbers?

Tacoma News Tribune: Aviation writer John Gillie has a Q&A with SPEEA’s president from March, but it’s worth revisting as negotiations with SPEEA begin around the clock in two weeks.

October 13:

Talks broke off after only three days, reports The Seattle Times, over the issue of outsourcing. Here is the story from The Seattle P-I.

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