Large successful companies are unified in trying to keep wages low and eliminate benefits. Without a contract, workers have no ability to fight back. Companies do it in the name of profits, shareholders and investor pressure. No one expects senior company officials to stand up for workers receiving higher wages. It’s not their job and it’s not their nature. Workers need an independent voice and the means to make company officials listen and respond. It is almost laughable when someone from management says “don’t give up your voice.” It’s hard to give up what you don’t have.
What Boeing Managers are NOT Saying
In her recent response to the IAM’s email, Beverly Wyse said, “trust is based on truthful and complete information.” She then went on to give you only half the story. Here’s what Boeing management is not telling you:
It was Boeing’s actions that led workers in Seattle to strike.
Boeing workers in Seattle voted by a 2/3 margin to go on strike. They did so because Boeing presented them with a contract that failed to meet the needs of members and their families. It was Boeing’s actions that pushed an overwhelming majority of Machinists to strike. NOT the actions of the IAM. The result of that strike, for the record, was an improved contract. Across all IAM locations, it’s the members who decide if they want to go on strike. Those impacted by a contract take two votes. The first is an up or down vote on the contract. A simple majority is needed to accept a contract. The second vote is the strike vote. It takes 2/3 of the membership to approve a strike. When 2/3 approve a strike then it’s fair to say the membership is in full agreement that the company has greatly over-reached in some area.
Not everyone is taking a pay cut because they work “3,000 miles away.”
Is it correct to say Beverly Wyse currently receives her wages based on Washington State? Do you honestly think she said, “wait, stop the money train!! – if I am going to South Carolina I should be paid less?” Managers, engineers and contractors receive an industry wage that is competitive with places like Washington State. Why shouldn’t the majority of the BSC hourly workers?
Many workers in North Charleston are making wages competitive with other states.
Boeing managers repeatedly fail to mention the IAM has contracts right here in N. Charleston covering members at Kapstone paper, the C17 program at the Air Force base and at the Charleston Airport that pay wages at the national industry standard. They also fail to mention IAM contracts at aerospace shops like Pratt & Whitney, General Electric, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon that do the same. Not to mention the many other North Charleston unions that have contracts with employers that provide higher wages than Boeing.
Boeing broke the law by retaliating against IAM members in Seattle.
This is a direct quote from the NLRB website: “The investigation found that Boeing officials communicated the unlawful motivation in multiple statements to employees and the media. For example, a senior Boeing official said in a videotaped interview with the Seattle Times newspaper: “The overriding factor (in transferring the line) was not the business climate. And it was not the wages we’re paying today. It was that we cannot afford to have a work stoppage, you know, every three years.” (Note -that logic is way off base and would mean 26 strikes over 80 years – a number that is so factually incorrect, it’s scary.) The real issue is Boeing retaliated against the workers’ protected rights. Boeing broke the law and is trying desperately to say the Machinists Union tried to take your job – when the truth is the IAM was protecting all workers’ rights. The NLRB scenario was brought on by Boeing – period.