Scott Hamilton is managing director of Leeham Co., which provides consulting services to the aerospace industry. He previously was co-founder of Linkraven Ltd., a publishing and conference company in England.
Mr. Hamilton Spoke about the Aerospace industry with Ed Bremer the day before the IAM Local 751-A vote for the International Officers. Ed closed out the interview by asking Mr. Hamilton his thoughts on the vote outcome. Here is Mr. Hamilton’s response.
Here is my speech given at the SEIU 1199 NW Rally that took place outside of Compass Health on March 26, 2014, protesting stalled contract negotiations. The union has not had a wage proposal made by the company after 11 months of talks. This is not bargaining in good faith and is unacceptable. Mental health clients need a stable workforce to develop trust and feel safe with. Inadequate wages are forcing the angels who do this work to reluctantly seek employment elsewhere. As a community we all need to express our outrage at Compass Health’s stalling tactics.
How the Boeing Situation might have played out if I had a say as Congressman for the 2nd District.
Event: Boeing would approach the State asking for a break on their taxes to the tune of 8.7 Billion dollars and concessions from the Union in wages and benefits. Lacking such State and labor concessions Boeing intends to solicit bids from other states before deciding where to build the 777’s.
My response: I would call for an emergency meeting of any interested elected officials to take place in Olympia. In this meeting, an investigative committee would be formed, composed of elected officials primarily from locations where the aircraft production facilities are located, who would meet with Boeing executives to hear their reasons for this threat. The committee’s purpose will be to question Boeing’s reason for taking this action and hear concerns from the IAM Union.
The next step will be a series of public hearings and separate hearings of all Boeing workers, union, non-union, contractors and suppliers. Representatives from Boeing and all the workers Unions are encouraged to attend and field questions.
Finally a report on the committee’s findings along with our recommendations would be presented to the State legislature while simultaneously being made available to every citizen, through the internet.
Problem: Boeing wants immediate action.
My Response: Then they should have approached us sooner. The State is not bound by their timetable! They will hear from us after we have done our due diligence.
Outcome: As before, the State legislature will vote on whether to give Boeing the tax break and the amount, if any. Before a vote is taken and any decision made however, Boeing must agree to a separation of the tax issue from the Union concessions. In other words, no vote will be taken on the tax breaks if the decision to move will still need the concessions of the union. It is not the job of the state government to have any influence one way or the other in collective bargaining.
Through this process the state hopes to inform all the people of the situation and give them a clear understanding of the issue. And most importantly, all our officials will know where the people stand at the end of this process so they can vote as their constituency wants them too.
Of course, this would be the democratic way to handle the situation. And my gut tells me Boeing would balk at democracy and start receiving bids from other states. At this point I would ask the Governor to send a letter to Boeing CEO McNerney, informing him the State intends to purchase the Company’s property and equipment in order to prevent local residents from losing their jobs. Every effort will be made to reach a fair agreed upon price, but if an agreement cannot be reached, the state’s power of eminent domain will be exercised. The letter will also let McNerney know he has one week to stop receiving bids on the 777 and let the process of the investigatory committee play out. If no response is received at the end of one week, appraisers will be sent out to value the property.
So, our appraisers will gather up their measuring equipment, the state lawyers will bury their noses in applicable law and the investigatory committee will go about their work with or without the inclusion of the Boeing Corporation. Their ability to manufacture and sell airplanes will not be impeded in any way during the legal process. But the second there is any attempt to relocate production or move any equipment, law enforcement will step in to protect the property and the workers’ jobs. Not one drill bit will leave the state. Eminent domain will take effect and all Boeing customers will be contacted and informed that production of their planes will continue even as a buyer for the company is sought or workers take over ownership.
Now, some people will say I’m crazy, taking this kind of tough stance. I call it doing my damn job. Boeing executives would say this action amount to nothing more than blackmail and extortion. Yeah…Blackmail and extortion, that wouldn’t be right, would it Mr. McNerney?
Published: Saturday, February 15, 2014, 1:00 a.m.
Boeing and the betrayal of labor
Everett’s mayor claimed to have seen the contract and determined it was worth accepting “in his heart of hearts.” That is clearly untrue as the details of the agreement were not even finalized as the vote was being rammed through. For all we know it is still not finalized. New contracts are available about two weeks after any settlement, but this one has yet to be seen on the shop floor.
Congressman Larsen told the workers they had to take the contract because Boeing would leave; rejection of the takeaways rendering the company unable to compete. This is also a falsehood. Put in the simplest context to understand clearly, the workers traditional pension accounts for about a fraction of 1 percent of the total labor cost per jetliner that comes off the production line. Labor cost per jetliner is around 5 percent of the total.
Some in leadership positions within the Union, tasked with representing the interest of the membership, failed in their responsibility! Lack of a true democratic structure that places power in the hands of the rank and file has been a serious problem in many unions over the years. But now there is an opportunity to remove the IAM entrenched incumbents by voting them out in upcoming elections and restoring power to where it belongs, on the shop floor. The workers have been wronged, this vote, which should never have taken place, must be reversed and those responsible for forcing the vote must be held accountable.
Boeing executives who are the instigators of these nefarious actions must be asked the question, “What are your values?” Attacking the hard fought for and well deserved gains of the workers who made Boeing profitable over decades, is not how one rewards those who created their wealth.
In 2008, the Wall Street bankers and financiers crashed our economy without even one major conspirator held accountable. Now we have Boeing taking advantage of the tough economic times to further ravage our state and its citizens. The wealth inequality the elite have created is an economic threat to our nation and it must be addressed.
The Boeing workers have been hit from all sides with betrayal, intimidation and suppression of their rights. And so have we all. Boeing, our politicians, and the IAM’s compromised union leadership are forcing our hand. Union members and the community must unify to protect ourselves. The Wobblies motto, “An injury to one is an injury to all” rings true more so today than it did over 100 years ago. We must continue to speak up and spread the word of this injustice until it is wiped from the slate.
Mike Lapointe lives in Everett
© 2014 The Daily Herald Co., Everett, WA
I made this audio file to rally all workers to come together and fight back. This is a crucial time and an excellent opportunity to build the union if you can only put aside your hard feelings, set the union right, and take on the true culprit, Boeing! Whatever you voted, you don’t deserve this treatment and should not have to put up with it. Get involved, make change and fight back! I guarantee you there will be one representative standing with you and against the actions of the Boeing corporation.
Thank you for helping me beat the big money interests.
Well its official. I announced today that I will be running for Congress against Rick Larsen. I will have video soon but wanted to get some of the speech out tonight. So here are two audio sections that address Boeing’s blackmail and extortion of IAM workers and the Stunning two dozen city council candidate election victories which took place in Ohio recently. Enjoy