Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A new era of labor peace? Bwaaa-haaa-haaa!!!

Pundits speculate whether we've entered a new era of labor peace now that Boeing and the International Association of Machinists reached a deal.

The company agreed to limit the number of 787s that will be made in South Carolina (a right-to-work for less state), promised to add thousands of jobs in Washington and give the workers a raise.

Writes The New York Times' Steven Greenhouse,
When the Boeing Company announced its far-reaching, precedent-setting agreement with the machinists’ union last week, all the talk was about the ushering in of a new era of labor peace between a company and union that were long known for their horrendous labor relations record. That record included five strikes since 1977, among them a 58-day walkout in 2008 that cost Boeing $1.8 billion.
It's hard to imagine we're anywhere near an era of labor peace. Corporate attacks on workers are as savage as ever, if not more so. And politicians are going after public sector unions with a fierceness not seen in decades.

Which brings us to the peerless blogger Atrios:
...to a great degree corporate execs oppose and fight labor because that's what their DNA was programmed with in the cloning vats. If they were concerned with saving money and maximizing shareholder value they'd cut their salaries and expense accounts and corporate jets. They're not. They're concerned with being assholes and beating people down. Making peace with labor is largely about a few people deciding that maybe we shouldn't spend all of our time being giant assholes in a counterproductive way.
Amen to that.