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January 25, 2002 Newsletter #1865


Spokane members rally to save their plant

Notes from Exec. Director: "A story about 'me' "

Member Suggestion

"Secrets of Silicon Valley" Jan. 30

7 Reasons Outsourcing is bad match

Survey highlights: Compensation

Contract Personnel update

Scholarships available

Aviation & Electronic Schools of America

PBS: "Trading Democracy" Feb. 5

Upcoming Meetings

Notes from the Executive Director
A story about "me"

I was having a tough time deciding what to write this week. Certainly there are many important things to write about. As Boeing moves forward to offload our jobs, we are moving forward to protect our jobs. We've had a rally in support of the 717 in Long Beach and another in Spokane to help keep that plant part of the Boeing family. We continue to help the thousands that are facing layoffs before the summer. We are preparing to negotiate four contracts this year.

I've been doing a lot of traveling this past year and tonight was an uncommon night in that I actually was home for dinner. I played a game with my kids, listened to them practice music and then we watched a little TV. I was lamenting that I didn't know what to write about and my two older daughters both said, "Write about me." I thought for a moment and it dawned on me. Family is important; I love my kids and my wife. If I was going to write about something important, I should write about family.

It was Tuesday, January 15, and my mind drifted to the tragedy at Boeing that day. That day the Boeing family lost a member. An IAM employee was killed while working on a machine in Auburn. It reminded me that life is fleeting and we are all vulnerable. We should take the time to tell each other how much we care for each other. We should reflect more often on the fact that family comes before a whole lot of things. It is the people that make our lives worth living. It is people that we must focus on first if we are to live truly full lives.

My heart goes out today to the family, friends and co-workers of the deceased employee. He is part of both his immediate family and the larger Boeing family. Certainly our family and our Union have many important things to achieve this year, but, for today, let's take a moment to reflect on what is really important.

Yes, I've taken my daughters' advice and this column is about them; it's also about all of us.

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Member suggestion

A member recently forwarded this letter to the Boeing News:

The Ford Company situation and how it's being handled by top management, brings to the forefront something that's been on my mind for awhile. Ford Company managers are taking a suspension of bonuses. Leadership is also going without salary, and other long-term income vehicles, with the exception of options. This way William Clay Ford Jr. will not get paid unless the company prospers.

My question is this. If the management of Ford is willing to act and LIVE by what they speak, where does Boeing management stand? Is our management going without bonuses while thousands of people, obviously not as affluent, are losing their jobs? Shouldn't their pay clearly reflect the prosperity of the company? Any bonus received by Boeing management SHOULD be directed in its entirety to extending severance pay, or even to the Union funds for laid off workers.

If 'touching' the employees of this Company is important to management, this would say a lot.

/s/ Ralph N. Smith

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Seven reasons why outsourcing is a bad match to our industry

By Stan Sorscher, SPEEA Staff

[Stan has been holding lunch-time meetings, collecting feedback from members on this subject. Here are some of the thoughts he's collected.]

Boeing is increasingly depending on suppliers, business "partners" and global markets for manufacture, design, and financing of our products. In a short time, our role could settle into system integration, project management and supply chain management.

I hear seven reasons why this trend is a poor match to conditions in our industry.

1) Complex products. Our products are complex, requiring a high level coordination and communication. Outsourcing clouds communication.

2) Sub-optimization. Product complexity makes us particularly susceptible to sub-optimization, where the interests of our suppliers or partners are different from our interests.

3) Product life. Our products have 40-year production and service lives, while we retain responsibility for customer service and continued air-worthiness.

4) Base of knowledge. Our technical body of knowledge resides in the people and relationships of the engineering community. Retaining that knowledge is an organic process, which is easily disrupted by outsourcing.

5) Learning curve. The aerospace industry is famous for breathtaking learning curves, meaning that numerous process improvements dramatically improve productivity during a production cycle. Outsourcing hands that potential benefit to our suppliers. To share in those productivity improvements, we must pursue our suppliers for concessions. This creates tension and builds walls between our suppliers and us.

6) Control of our future. Outsourcing weakens control over product development and process improvement. Outsourcing reduces our internal resources, in terms of retained skills and experience, manufacturing capacity, and capital. Process R&D should follow the manufacturing, which puts suppliers in control of many critical elements of manufacturing and design.

7) Public trust and confidence. Our industry works to very high standards of trust and confidence. Our commercial and government customers, the flying public, foreign and domestic regulators and the investment community make strict demands on design, manufacturing, operation, and service of our products.

These seven factors are strongly inter-related, and the consequences will be felt in thousands of ways, large and small, throughout the business.

Other Industries

Economists and business experts point to other industries where outsourcing works.

They challenge us to be like the motion-picture industry. To make a movie, the producer obtains financing, and assembles a director, screenwriters, cast, crew, and production staff. These resources are all available from an efficient global market with interchangeable, readily-available market equivalents. At the end of the project, resources are released back into the market.

Consider a large construction project. A developer obtains financing, obtains architects, engineers, electricians, plumbers, steelworkers, and others for the project. Again, efficient markets will provide interchangeable standardized resources for the project. At the end, the markets re-allocate those resources to other projects.

In the personal computer business, many disk drives, keyboards, monitors and other components are interchangeable market commodities. People, ideas and relationships operate in efficient local and global markets.

For at least seven reasons, our industry is different from motion pictures or construction or personal computers or cell phones or running shoes or ladies garments. Our customers, suppliers, our people and our markets are different. The practices of those industries will make a bad match to our situation.

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Aviation & Electronic Schools of America

Several classes are being taught locally by this school in the coming months:

  • Computer Building & Configuring
  • Computer Service Technician; Hardware & Operating Systems
  • Introduction to Fiber Optics
  • Advanced Fiber Optics
  • Networking Technologies and Practices

For more information, check out their website at - call Sam Palmer at 1-800-345-2742, x210 - or email Limited space available; Boeing's Learning Together program should cover your costs.

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Bill Moyers Reports: Trading Democracy

PBS - February 5th at 10 p.m.

Channel 9 and other PBS stations will be hosting a documentary that you might want to take time to see. Bill Moyers Reports: Trading Democracy will air on PBS stations across the country at 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5th. (Channel 9 will re-broadcast on February 10th at 3:00 a.m.)

This hour-long program explores what's been called an 'end run around the Constitution.' It reveals how corporate investors are using an obscure provision in the North American Free Trade Agreement to challenge U.S. laws, regulations and jury verdicts -- arguing those challenges before international trade tribunals that rule in secret -- and winning.

The program examines the secret tribunals that are changing the laws of our country - all thanks to NAFTA. There's an in-depth look at the MTBE case in California (where the US is being sued for $970 million US because California removed a carcinogen from gasoline) ... Metalclad - the case where Mexico had to pay $16 million US to a company that never had a permit to reopen a toxic waste dump, but won because that cost them potential profits ... and the case of Loewen Group, the Canadian funeral company that lost a civil case for $125 million in Mississippi and now is suing the government for $750 million.

Pass the word -- plan to watch the show, and mobilize your friends to watch.


Company service does mean something!

A member and his Council Representative recently came into a SPEEA office with a concern about the employee's impending layoff. While the employee was awaiting layoff, the employee achieved his 20 years of service with the Company. When the employee reached that threshold in his career, he understood that his retention rating should be adjusted to reflect the long-term service. However, the employee was not getting the necessary support to ensure the layoff notice was pulled.

On the employee's behalf, the Contract Administrator (CA) contacted representatives from both Boeing Human Resources and Workforce requesting acknowledgement of the employee's service. Within the various correspondences, the contract was cited, noting that retention should be adjusted after 20 years of service. The CA also cited the Company's own redeployment guidelines which state management needs to catch these types of anomalies.

After additional work, the employee received confirmation from his respective management that the WARN had been pulled and that his retention was effectively adjusted.

Even though Company management did not fully acknowledge their obligation in correcting this situation, it is important to note that any and all egos were set aside and the "right" thing was made to happen for the employee! [BR]

Working Together, We Can Make A Difference!

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Some companies choose no-layoff policy

In their 12/17/01 edition, USA Today reports, as companies slash thousands of jobs amid the recession, some employers are taking a different tack: reassuring workers they're not letting them go.

* Southwest Airlines hasn't laid off employees even as others in the industry have cut tens of thousands of jobs. It hasn't had layoffs in 30 years. A message from the CEO was posted on the company intranet reassuring workers that Southwest strives to maintain that goal.

* Nucor, a Charlotte, N.C.-based steel manufacturer, hasn't laid off any employees due to lack of work since it entered the industry in the 1960s. The firm has more than 7,000 employees. Cutbacks have included reduced work schedules and travel restrictions but no job cuts.

* New York-based law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell informed employees in October that it would stand by a no-layoff policy during economic downturns. According to an internal staff memo, the decision not to lay off lawyers helps ''preserve the collegial firm culture we value.''

* Rogers & Associates, a Los Angeles-based public relations firm, called a staff meeting to reassure employees about job security. The firm has had one layoff related to economic reasons in 21 years.

* Atlanta-based law firm Long Aldridge & Norman sent out an e-mail assuring staff that efforts are being taken to preserve jobs, and associates were told at a fall retreat that job cuts were not being planned. ''If we wanted to make more money, we could let people go, but that's not our philosophy,'' says Jeff Haidet, president of the firm. Instead, the firm is cutting expenses and occupying staff with pro-bono work because of a slowdown in business.

No-layoff policies are the exception, but some firms are taking such an approach because of downsizing's toll on retention and recruitment. A study by Watson Wyatt of 750 companies showed that companies with excellent recruiting and retention policies provide a nearly 8% higher return to shareholders than those that don't. Those with a strong commitment to job security earned an additional 1.4% for shareholders.

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Nominations sought for the Stephen Pezzini H.O.P.E. Award

It's time to ask for nominations from the members for candidates to receive this year's "Stephen Pezzini Helping Other People Excel (H.O.P.E.) Award". This award was established to recognize a current member of a SPEEA bargaining unit who "volunteers time and effort to benefit their community, as well as being active in their union -
a person who excels beyond expectations."

Criteria for nominations:

1) Must be an active SPEEA member.

2) Volunteers ~50% of time in SPEEA activities.

3) Volunteers ~50% of time in community activities.

The nominator must submit a brief write-up stating what the nominee's activities are in both SPEEA and their community. If you have a person you'd like to nominate who fits this criteria, please complete and return the coupon below -- or email your nomination to "" by the February 15th deadline.

NOMINATION -- Stephen Pezzini H.O.P.E. Award

I'd like to nominate ____________________________ to receive this award. Attached is a detailed explanation of both SPEEA activities and Community Activities performed by this nominee.

Your Name ___________________________ Clock # ________

W. Phone ( ) _____________ H. Phone ( ) ______________

Submittal deadline is February 15, 2002 - mail to:

SPEEA (HOPE award) - 15205 52nd Ave S - Seattle, WA 98188

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New Council Reps seated

The Tellers Committee met on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 to review new Council petitions received and to count ballots for contested District E-11.

Two candidates who submitted petitions were qualified and unopposed, so they were seated by the Tellers, as follows:

K-4 Judy Campbell (Techs, Kent, 18-01, 18-04, 18-05, 18-20 series Buildings)

R-40 John McLaren (Profs & Techs, Longacres buildings)

District E-11 ballot results

There was a contest in District E-11, where seven candidates were running for two positions. Tellers counted ballots, with the following results:

Total ballots authorized 934

Invalid ballots received 11 (3 no signature, 8 wrong election)

Total valid ballots cast 163

FOR Jennifer Erickson 67

FOR Patricia J. Bell 61

FOR Tom Griffin 15

FOR Jack Whalen 26

FOR Kevin Bremer 37

FOR Austin Chow 48

FOR Erek S. Barhoum 42

Abstentions (voted for only 1) 30

Congratulations to Jennifer Erickson and Patricia Bell who will serve the remainder of the term as Council Reps for District E-11 (Profs, Everett, 40-87 Building).

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Weekly Meetings

Monday, Jan 28
Council Officers
4:00 PM
Wednesday, Jan 30
SPEEA Legislative & Public Affairs
5:00 PM
Wednesday, Jan 30
NW Legislative & Public Affairs
6:00 PM
Thursday, Jan 31
NW Governing Documents
5:00 PM
Midwest Meetings
Monday, Jan 28
MW Communications
5:00 PM
Tuesday, Jan 29
MW Benefits Committee
4:00 PM

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