Another Strike Not in the News
After hearing all the news about the transportation strike in New York, I began to ponder why another strike hasn’t made the national news scene. Since Nov. 2nd, there has been a machinist strike at Boeing. Of course local press has been covering it since it directly involves North Alabama, but all the implications of the strike haven’t been covered.
The reason for the strike is the union is not satisfied with the final contract that Boeing has offered. It’s seems to be the usual. They’re not happy with the increase in the cost of health care and cuts in retirement. Old song equals old results. So the union has been on the picket line since Nov. 2nd. It’s been almost two months now so what is taking so long. Well there are some underlying circumstances that haven’t been linked together.
One: Right now Boeing and Lockheed are looking for approval for a merge, which would consolidate two of the largest manufacturers of launch vehicles. Both companies are looking for this to happen. Lockheed would build a rocket with Boeing under the name of United Launch Alliance and still be able to build their Atlas V for the government to purchase. Boeing has made a deal with Lockheed for them to drop their multi-million dollar lawsuit that was filled because of the theft of documents if the merge was successful. It would also help them corner the market in launch vehicles by being able to underbid its competitors and then draw the subsidies they have been drawing since the EELV’s inception.
Two: There is another company that is now treading on Lockheed and Boeing’s turf. A company called SpaceX is now in the works of launching their first satellite for the military (not part of the EELV program), but at a third of the cost of Boeing. If SpaceX’s launch is successful the Military would have a money saving alternative to Lockheed or Boeing. SpaceX is also filling an anti-trust suit against this merge.
Three: The race against time here is truly spellbinding. If the merge is allowed, Boeing will have to negotiate to put their workers back in the plant before SpaceX has a successful launch. If the merge is denied would there be a reason for Boeing (or Lockheed) to keep building launch vehicles if they couldn’t get the vehicle cost down to a third of what it is now? Is the Union shooting itself in the foot with their demands, or using Boeing predicament to give them advantage at the negotiation table?
The other big question is why hasn’t the press been covering this? The press is the liberal propaganda machine and Boeing is a large corporation that is part of the war machine. I would figure that a strike would make good news. Even in the local paper when they report about the strike they don’t say anything negative about Boeing. Then I realized that whenever a lib starts talking about large mean corporations, Boeing is never mentioned. They always say Halliburton or some large oil company. Is it because that, despite being a DOD contractor, Boeing is a fairly liberal company?
Update: Insolublog, showed me this link where the Machinist & Aerospace workers have contributed alot of money to the Democrats. This might explain the lack of coverage, but then Boeing has actually contributed more (soft money) to Republicans than to Democrats. A small amount more, but more none the less. I would figure this would make Boeing a target of bad press.
Maybe one of my readers can shed some light on these questions. There is lots of room for conspiracies and rumors.
Aurthur’s note: Most of regular readers are probably shaking their heads saying “Phat Tony doing real reporting? What the hell is the world coming to?”
Linkage to Basil's picnic