Boeing's War Against Their Employees That is the 787
It should be noted that, despite Boeing's marketing department's spin, that many current Boeing employees are resentful of "Boeing's" 787 program, and the "business model" it is based upon that has shut out vast numbers of Boeing employees from being able to be a contributor on the program, or to one day have their children work on the airplane, which used to be a decades old tradition in "Boeing" communities. If a proud Boeing worker, on, say, the 747 program, wanted their child to make a similarly respectable livelihood by following in their footsteps of being a Boeing employee, and if the child also wanted to grow up and follow in their parent's footsteps, they could. I'm not writing of the far gone days of nepotism at Boeing in hiring, but the period after that where a child of a Boeing worker could readily follow in their parent's trade at Boeing if they wished to do so, as Boeing prosperity also meant good Boeing jobs for those wanting to make their life's work building, inspecting, engineering, etc., Boeing airplanes.
Not so today. And the 787 program and over-outsourcing on "legacy" programs is the reason.
But who is responsible for this killing of the American Dream at Boeing? Who would be so unethical that they would do anything to gain a few tenths of a percentage point in meeting profitability targets, even selling their own country's future out to the lowest bidder? If you look elsewhere on this site, you can answer that question, and also find out why quality (and therefore safety) won't really be a factor in those "lowest bidder" sourcing decisions, which should be of concern to anyone considering a flight on the 787 in the first few years of service, if the program reaches that far. What is it to a Boeing executive that protects corrupt and illegal behavior every day at Boeing as noted elsewhere on this site to engage in such activity that is not illegal, but just anti-American, anti-union, and opposed to the interests of the average Boeing employee? Some have called these corporate acts of outsourcing anything that can be outsourced, while still calling the resulting product "American," that Boeing has engaged in, "economic terrorism" because these executive's decisions seem to have no real, demonstrable patriotism, and indeed their actions have made our economy "take a hit" like the terrorists hit us on 9/11. Not a hit to corporate profits, but a hit to middle class family livelihoods. Tens of thousands of good American jobs lost forever, the benefits of those left at Boeing with jobs cut, and I could go on and on. But you can't say that what these Boeing executives, who make much more and more at Boeing themselves each year, are doing in exterminating livable wage jobs at Boeing is illegal--immoral, perhaps--but not illegal. But (elsewhere on this site is noted the illegal actions of Boeing management continuing to this day) why would Boeing management not do the immoral when they are willing to do the illegal? Correct. Immoral but legal actions would be easier for such a manager to do, assuming they had any ethics whatsoever. If they didn't have any ethics, however, and the illegal and immoral were equally justifiable to maximize the value of Boeing's bottom line and their own stock grants and options, the end result would still sadly be the same.
The 787 is the poster child of the future Boeing executives want for the Boeing people that will work on the program day to day once in production. And that future is basically no future whatsoever. Yes, there will be a minimal level of Boeing workers who "snap" the outsourced major components of the 787 together and somewhat disingenuously apply the "Boeing" logo on each one, but even those minimal levels of Boeing jobs would be much less if Boeing executives had their way.
Remember the "site selection" debacle? Boeing made their workforce feel lucky even to get those minimal jobs "building" the "Boeing" 787 through that process. And now you can see, if you are not a Boeing worker, why many Boeing workers feel as they do about "their own" 787 program. Speaking from the experience of being an employee of BCA who worked on the production line, working with, in many cases, the same almost 40 year old technology every day, the prospect of working on a new airplane program would be an exciting prospect indeed. However, to have Boeing executives decide in almost all cases that Boeing's own workers were not worthy to do that work was a major letdown to all of us workers at Boeing. Many employees, being hopeful by nature still, even through these Boeing executive decisions showed no faith in them by their own management, probably look at the "consolation prize" of getting final assembly of the 787 as the only thing we could have hoped for from these managers who think of maximizing their own pocketbooks over all other Americans' pocketbooks--even those of their own employees who they have demonstrated great disloyalty to in almost all 787 and "legacy program" sourcing/outsourcing decisions.
But what these people perhaps forget is just how close we came to losing even the minimal jobs of final assembly of the 787 through the site selection process, and what that told further about what level of faith Boeing management had, and what level the same managers still have, in its own team of workers. Although Boeing workers won that decision, and a few will get to actually say they built a small part of each delivered 787 airplane, the site selection process will go down in history as one of the darkest times at Boeing internally, when Boeing workers had little faith their executives would make the right decision based on the bias of their past decisions on the sourcing of 787 components and the lack of faith those decisions showed in their own workers going forward. Just how close were we to losing final assembly of the 787, in addition to the previously announced loss of historically Boeing work? The public may never know unless those who know the details of the reasoning behind the Boeing Board of Director's decision on 787 site selection tell what they know about why that decision really was made, in the opposite direction of almost all 787 program decisions made before that decision.
This site is about the quality, safety, and reliability of Boeing airplanes and the corruption I witnessed in the processes that are supposed to ensure those most minimal requirements of Boeing airplanes are met, and not about why Boeing has not been more prominently mentioned on Lou Dobb's broadcasts about the war on the middle class.
However, in a way, this war against its own workers is related to this site's main subject--why would managers who don't care about the lives of their own workers and the economic health of their own country care about the lives of the public?