Change in Boeing production?

The economic times may cause Boeing to alter production, a top executive said. Bloomberg News reports that Randy Tinseth, VP-marketing, hinted at this. The aerospace analyst at Goldman Sachs last week issued a report predicting fewer deliveries in coming years as airlines face financing difficulties. Bloomberg now reports pretty much the same thing.

Flight Global’s Laura Mueller reports that two lessors have urged production cuts.

This is the sort of “flexibility” Boeing seeks in its contract with the IAM and, upcoming, SPEEA: to alter production and jobs in bad times. Boeing says that the job guarantees sought by the IAM inhibits this flexibility. Airbus has long had handcuffs on its ability to reduce its workforce in bad times, due to European labor laws (as opposed to union contracts) that mean a huge severence pay that makes laying off people academic.

What’s interesting in Tinseth’s reported comments is the contrast with Boeing executive statements all year. Boeing’s top execs repeated told everyone who would listen (including, it seems, its own unions) that Boeing was insulated from any downturn because the backlog was so well spread out among customers around the globe in different economies and with varied business models. Some observers didn’t drink the cool aid, but certainly the labor unions took note and these chickens came home to roost in the current labor demands for reduced outsourcing and job guarantees.

So while Boeing execs were reassuring Wall Street, they in some respects set the stage for the current labor impasse.

2 Comments on “Change in Boeing production?

  1. I wonder if the rip cords on Mr. Kight and Mr. McNerney’s Golden Parachutes will be outsourced parts??

  2. I have a question for both Boeing AND the union- with all of the 787 delays, which we all know are largely due to outsourcing problems. Why would the company want further delays with the current strike and plans for more outsourcing? How much money will the company save by cutting the heads of 2000 more employees when it will only remove a vital link from chain! Why fix what isn’t broken?? I know many of those 2000, my husband is one of them! He was recently given an award for developing and implementing a program in his work area that runs at a 100 percent accuracy rating! WHY change that??? Without this accuracy the whole delivery proccess is slowed greatly. Where is the financial savings Mr McNerney and Mr Kight? Your Shareholders, customers and 2000 soon to be dedicated workers would like to know! Want to make this a no strike zone here in the beautiful State of WA? Let’s get a SIX year contract signed! Include a LOU for future outsourcing. Don’t wait until the 11th hour to start talks for the next contract, begin it at day ONE of year 5! Offer 1 health plan to ALL employees not the 3 or 4 always offered! You run an aircraft company, not a restaurant! You would get better premiums with higher volume!

    Would someone please send this to the leaders of Boeing and the union for me?

    Thank you!

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