A few years back, in covering the school closure controversy, I once quipped to a local elected official that the real problem with the city’s middle schools was all those damn middle school aged kids. If we could only get rid of all the students, I joked, the schools themselves wouldn’t be half bad, and there would certainly be a helluva lot more equity between them.
But I was joking.
The Seattle Times editorial board apparently is not, when they once again suggest that Boeing would be better off if they could only get rid of all those damn workers. Or something like that.
“Past strikes continue to influence Boeing decisions,” the Times headline reads, as the editors, as usual, blame organized labor for all of Boeings’ woes, including its misguided low-wage strategy.
A curious outsider might question the logic of Times editors who relentlessly berate the Machinists Union for costing the region jobs, while showing zero empathy for the workers whose jobs were lost, but it’s not cognitive dissonance that’s reflected in this morning’s headline as much as it is projection. For those of us familiar with the editorial page know full well that it’s Times publisher Frank Blethen’s own PTSD (Post Traumatic Strike Disorder) that has colored his paper’s negative coverage of labor issues ever since 2000’s contentious Newspaper Guild strike.
If Blethen and his editors really cared more about the economic welfare of our region than licking their own bitter wounds, they might have used their waning influence to urge Boeing executives to keep 787 assembly in the hands of the skilled workers who have built the company. Instead, they chose to provide cover to Boeing and it’s South Carolina strategy every step of the way, if not actively cheer them on.