For several years I was senior manager at a Lockheed Martin major aviation factory. In that position, I had numerous dealings with the International Association of Machinists (IAM) and can provide direct insight into the consequences of voting for the IAM.
The union will establish a separate structure that is more focused on the union’s success than employee or company success.
Shop stewards roam the factory floor looking for minor infractions to create numerous grievances, many on the same subject, without allowing employees to first discuss them with management. The union actually creates a barrier between employees and management
During union contract negotiations to pressure management, the union staged work slowdowns, though they denied it, impacting on customer delivery dates.
I met several times with the union president to avoid a strike but it was evident that the future wellbeing of the factory and meeting customers delivery dates were secondary to union demands.
When the union voted to strike, management ran the factory and after union funds were no longer available to help striking union members pay their bills, many elected to come back to work to receive their company salaries.
After an extended strike period, the union agreed to a settlement. However, there were no winners, employees lost financially, and the company lost business and credibility with our customers. Boeing employees should seek open dialogue with management to address work issues, not the IAM union.
Boeing management must provide the employees a written policy that clearly outlines the employee communication process. This vote should not be about providing the IAM the right to collective bargaining, but the future growth of Boeing jobs and our community.
There are many downsides to the IAM. Employees should give Boeing management the opportunity to work with them and continue to provide good-paying jobs in our communities. I guarantee in the long run it will be best for everyone.