Boeing’s threat to take their ball and go somewhere else, while hardly surprising, is incredibly short sighted.
On Thursday, Boeing made good on its threats and began looking elsewhere to develop its popular new 777X airplane. A spokesman for Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said Boeing officials called him to begin talks that could bring the work — and thousands of jobs — to that state.
Boeing Co. spokesman Doug Alder declined to specify where the company is now looking, saying there is no short list and that there are many places both within Boeing’s current operations and outside that are being explored.
“Everything is back on the table,” he said.
I’m sorry Boeing doesn’t know this, but the best place to build planes anywhere in the world is the Puget Sound. The fact that Boeing has build that up for over a century means something. It means that the people who are going to make the best quality airplanes are living here. It means they have experience and know how, and the people with a passion for it have moved here. It means that they will help get the job done.
By threatening to go other places, they’re saying they’re willing to put out an inferior product. They’re signaling that when your safety and security is on the line, they’re at least considering going on the cheap. They’re saying that they know they can do better, but fuck it. That doesn’t sound like a long term strategy. You get what you pay for, and they’re clearly establishing that they don’t want to pay for quality when you’re in a tube in the air.
Also, there’s the fact that so much of their business model is to get free money from taxpayers. And I think it’s fair to say that taxpayers are more willing to pay for good jobs than the ones Boeing thinks it should give its employees. Between the largest bit of corporate welfare in US history that the Washington State Legislature just offered them and all the military contracting, Boeing lives off government largess. And it’s tough to imagine Patty Murray going to the mattresses on the tanker deal or the legislature caving so quickly to all of their demands if the jobs were not good ones.