It seems like only yesterday that Boeing (BA) settled a six-week strike with its machinists. That took six weeks and delayed production of scores of planes which have customers panting to get delivered. The new Dreamliner, in particular, is suppose to sip fuel and save a lot of money in the process. But, Boeing cannot avoid a love of calamity.
After admitting that the labor stoppage had hurt its earnings and its standing with customers, the airplane maker is about to pick a fight with two other large unions.
According to The Wall Street Journal, "In an effort to ratchet up pressure on Boeing Co. negotiators, leaders of the union that represents about 21,000 of the company’s white-collar engineers and technical workers said they will ask their members to authorize a strike." Boeing did wait until the last minute. The contract runs out on December 1.
Boeing is an extraordinarily rich company and it will become even more wealthier if it can deliver planes from its backlog of orders which may be the largest in aviation history. All it has to do is stay open for business and its revenues will soar, not just next year but for the better part of the next decade.
Fighting with its unions over relatively modest costs will only undermine the company’s future.
Sometimes, cheap gets expensive.
Douglas A. McIntyre