Which is sure to make us southern folk a lot more friendly where damnyankees are concerned (h/t Q and O):
Conservatives are in an uproar that the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board has filed an unfair labor charge against Boeing. It seems the president of Boeing was unwise enough to blurt out that his company would move a production line to South Carolina as payback for past strikes by machinists in Seattle. It’s a dead bang violation of the National Labor Relations Act, even if it comes as a surprise to Republicans and many other Americans.
Section 7 of the Wagner Act, passed in 1935, states that all workers can engage in concerted activities without reprisal. The president of Boeing said, in effect: You exercise those rights and we’re moving. Companies have long done such things, of course, but CEOs aren’t usually so gaffe-prone as to say so.
If shutting your business down because your workers can’t be bothered to show up for work is an “illegal reprisal”, then we’ve got quite the interesting situation here. Presumably, firing a worker who never shows up would be illegal too, then. Or, in other words, any business owner is obliged by law to pay their workers and keep them on payroll indefinitely no matter what they do or, more appropriately, DON’T do.
Why is Boeing, one of our few real global champions in beefing up exports, moving work on the Dreamliner from a high-skill work force ($28 an hour on average) to a much lower-wage work force ($14 an hour starting wage)? Nothing could be a bigger threat to the economic security of this country.
So your “skill level” is entirely determined by how much you haul in per hour? That’s funny. We know of an example of unionized, of course, bolt-tighteners who made $65/hour tightening bolts. Are we to deduct from this that they’re three times as skilled as, say, a medical technologist with a degree who only gets $21/hour? We guess that this means that drug dealers are among the most skilled individuals to ever walk the planet. Good luck having one of them perform a quadruple bypass on you.
We should be aghast that Boeing is sending a big fat market signal that it wants a less-skilled, lower-quality work force.
Read: “That Boeing is willing to let those damn southern hillbilly, inbred primitives build airplanes.”
This country is in a debt crisis because we buy abroad much more than we sell. Alas, because of this trade deficit, foreign creditors have the country in their clutches. That’s not because of our labor costs—in that respect, we can undersell most of our high-wage, unionized rivals like Germany. It’s because we have too many poorly educated and low-skilled workers that are simply unable to compete.
Our businesses’ ability to compete has nothing whatsoever to do with the cost of our businesses for doing business? The fact that the U.S. automobile industry, for example, once the envy of the world to the point where an engine made in the U.S. of A. was the gold standard for any budding car manufacturer abroad, the bar which they had to clear to even hope to sell a car, has declined to the point where we can’t even sell our own cars in our own country without the government stepping in with bailouts and taxpayer-funded “incentives”?
The reason that Americans, particularly here in the DemCong/Union/Ogabe Depression, tend to go for Japanese and Korean cars is solely because consumers like to pay for poor quality since, after all, those workers are paid less and therefore are little more than trained, slit-eyed wrench monkeys?
We depend on Boeing to out-compete Airbus, its European rival. But when major firms move South, it is usually a harbinger of quality decline. Over and over as a labor lawyer in the 1980s and ’90s, I saw companies move away from Chicago, where the pay was $28 an hour, to some place in South Carolina or Louisiana where the pay was about half that. While these moves aggrieved me as a union lawyer, it might have consoled me as an American if those companies went on to thrive globally.
But too often, alas, it was the beginning of the end, as it was for Outboard Marine Corporation, where I once represented workers. In the 1990s the company went from the high wage union North to the low wage South and was bankrupt by 2000.
Which, of course, was solely because they were paying only half the labor costs because they hired those sloped-forehead, NASCAR-loving, knuckle-dragging primitives in the south. It couldn’t have anything to do with anything else.
You know, there are times when you damnyankee liberal parasites really, really need to ask yourselves your favorite question: “Why do they hate us?”
There are reasons workers in the North get $28 an hour while down in the South they get $14 or even $10. Adam Smith could explain it: “productivity,” “skill level,” “quality.”
Because heaven knows that anything produced in the south falls apart if you look at it funny, which is why people keep buying it. The bloody masochists.
Here is yet another American firm seeking to ruin its reputation for quality. Why? To save $14 an hour! Seriously: Is that going to help sell the Dreamliner? In terms of the finished product, the labor cost is minuscule: $14 in hourly wage, at most. It’s incredible that conservatives claim such small differences in labor cost would be life or death to Boeing.
That’s hardly your decision to make, now is it?
It’s not labor cost but labor skill that is life or death to the survival of Boeing, never mind pilots and passengers.
So you’re positing that Boeing is trying to commit financial suicide by deliberately making the value of their product less?
We can clearly see that you’ve not only read Adam Smith, you understand him better than he understood himself.
If the history of runaway shops proves anything, it’s that many go “South” in more than one sense of the word. If that sounds unfair to the South, it is union busting that has inflicted the real unfairness in the region: income inequality and inferior schools.
“Dumb, poor trailer trash.”
Keep flattering us, you pasty northern pile of rat droppings. You’re really beginning to win us over here.
At this moment especially, deep in debt, we cannot afford to let another company like Boeing self-destruct.
Which is why you want to force them to stay where the unions can destroy them instead.
Again: Are you, a barely literate bipedal life form, suggesting that Boeing is trying to move their operations elsewhere because they’ve got some Corporate Death Wish™ and are you, on top of that, suggesting that we have to stop them for their own good?
Or are you just the natural result of siblings fucking each other because it’s easier than dating people you don’t know?
Boeing is not a product of the free market—it’s an extension of the U.S. government.
“I am Germany, and Germany is me!”
Over the years, our taxpayers have paid to create a Boeing work force with exceptionally high skills. That work force is not just an asset for Boeing—it’s an asset for the country. Why should the country let Boeing take it apart? Every American should be rooting for the NLRB’s general counsel, as the board itself has not yet found a violation.
Seriously. All of that oral flatulence really does sound a whole lot better in the original German.
Most depressing of all, Boeing’s move would send a market signal to those considering a career in engineering or high-skilled manufacturing. It is a message that corporate America has delivered over and over: Don’t go to engineering school, don’t bother with fancy apprenticeships, don’t invest in skills. No rational person wants to take on college or even community college debt to come out and work on the Dreamliner—which should be the country’s finest product—for a miserable $14 an hour.
Much better to be unemployed at a rate of $0/hour.
If a single story in the news can sum up the reasons for America’s global decline, it’s the decision to build a Dreamliner that will gut the American dream.
The American dream being, apparently, eternal unemployment, declining businesses and a permanent dependence on the Socialist Thousand Year Reich.
Thanks, but we’ll pass.
Piece of friendly advice, Mr. Geoghegan: Stay north of the Mason-Dixon line. Our hospitality down here is legendary and we take great pride in it, but we do have exceptions when it comes to visitors shitting on the floor and spitting in our faces.