The Actual Boeing “Project Gemini” Documents Released By The IAM Union.

My new Boeing shirt.

The IAM, International Association of Machinists released documents that they allege prove that Boeing “was moving work to Charleston to punish workers for exercising their union rights.”   They further claim that:

Project Gemini

The documents disclosed Friday were first presented to Boeing’s board of directors in April, August and October 2009. They show that:

  • Boeing Commercial Airplanes executives from Puget Sound considered Project Gemini to be the highest-risk option they studied, with the highest likelihood of failure and the most-serious consequences should failure occur.
  • Even if successful, the cost of Project Gemini would have a long-term “negative impact to 787 program profitability,” the executives warned. The new buildings would cost between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, they said — “significantly greater” than the cost of keeping the line in Everett.
  • The new Charleston workers would not be as productive as those in Everett, increasing the likelihood of missed deliveries, they warned. That would mean payments of more late fees to angry customers that have already demanded billions of dollars in compensation after three years of delays.
  • Finally, Puget Sound executives feared that having separate 787 lines 3,000 miles apart would delay introduction of the 787-9, a new larger Dreamliner. They warned of “skill dilution” with managers and assembly workers spread between two sites, as well as the risk of “management distraction.”

What the documents actually reveal is that Boeing created two teams, one red, and one blue.  The red team was responsible for arguing the case that some of the 787 work go to South Carolina while the blue team was responsible for making the case that the work remain in Washington.  Seems reasonable that a company would identify the pros and cons of each.  The union fails to represent any of the perceived, and based on recent history, negative impacts that they contribute to by remaining in Washington.

If I were the king of Boeing, I would have chartered a third team that studied the option of manufacturing abroad.  Not that I would want the work to go overseas, but it would have provided a reality check to all concerned.

Lastly the fact remains that the IAM would not have initiated any of the original charges had the employees in South Carolina rejected representation of them by the IAM…twice.  It is not Boeing that is rejecting the union, but the employees in South Carolina, and for the NLRB, the IAM, and the media for that matter to be continuing this charade is  a waste of energy, and money.


Posted on September 26, 2011, in Labor Relations and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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