Apparently, negotiations have been hot and heavy over a Boeing demand that the Machinists union agree to a no-strike clause, or risk the company moving 787 assembly to South Carolina. But…
… less than a week ahead of a Boeing board meeting to discuss the choice, the labor talks are deadlocked and hindered by distrust on each side, according to a high-level person close to the negotiations.
Really? The Machinists distrust Boeing? Could it have anything to do with the company’s demand that the union give up the only real collective bargaining lever it has?
Anyway, given the tone and tension of the negotiations, here’s my carefully considered recommendation for how to settle this seemingly intractable dispute. The Machinists union should agree to Boeing’s ridiculous demand for a no-strike clause. And then, if as feared, Boeing refuses to negotiate the subsequent contract in good faith, they should strike anyway.
Some might argue that such an approach would be dishonest and disrespectful, but, well, Boeing set the tone for these negotiations, so why should the Machinists treat the company with any more sincerity than the company has treated them?
And besides, this way everybody wins. Boeing executives get to save face and claim victory in beating down the unions, all the while keeping production where economically it makes most sense… the Machinists get to keep their jobs while giving up nothing substantive in return… and in the end, nothing really changes but the bragging rights.
I’d make a helluva diplomat, wouldn’t I?