Will Seattle's Boeing Workers Survive the Pandemic?







I liked Boeing better when they were an engineering driven company capable of making very good jets, not the current Boeing that is driven by cost-cutting business profiteers to the point of mothballing entire product lines.


Expire all fossil fuel depreciation, including that for airplanes.


Yeah the 85% reduction in air travel has nothing to do with it.


Flight shaming. It's a thing.

Build high speed rail and stop whining.


Yes, but BA stock has P/E ratio of 0.00?
Are they even paying dividends?
There must be some country we can bomb, and get those yield number up!


until Boeing places its largest Stakeholders -- its Union employees -- on its Board of Directors, expect the same Profiteering comittment to the Bottom Line as the thinking that placed the 737 MAX into pilots' hands -- without letting ALL pilots know the planes' computers might take over at any time -- and saved Boeing and their Sharholders a Bundle by doing so.

Well, at least till the chickens came home to roost, a year after launch, at 500 mph, straight imto the ground. Those 'savings' are looking pretty Lousy now...

Fix your Board, Boeing.
Perhaps you'll win back your customers.


Will the Everett assembly plant become an Amazon distribution center?


Jesus Crist, Jesus Christ
do you really Think trumpfy's
not gonna be any Different from
Stalin, Ho Chi Minh, or Hitler in His
"peacekeeping of the populace" efforts?

Jesus you're Delusional, Jesus.


For the sake of the local economy - and especially for the sake of the local arts and philanthropy scene - we'd better damn well hope that Boeing Workers survive the pandemic.

Just this year alone, the Boeing Employees Community Fund donated $2,350,000 dollars to Puget Sound organizations


And corporate sponsorships still have a lot of local names on them.



@14 I don't think we can blame Seattle for this one. Nice try though.


mistral dear, I don't believe Boeing has many facilities in Seattle proper. Most of the factory stuff at Boeing Field is actually in Tukwila. (Although it looks like the office buildings that are north of 16th Ave S and west of Marginal Way is in Seattle)

Although I agree that Boeing and the region are currently going through a Long Goodbye, but it will be many years before someone finally turns off the lights.

And the last I looked, Amazon was still very much a thing in Seattle. And Microsoft's operations help support the prosperity of the entire region. Believe it or not, not all of the employees live in Redmond.


mistral dear, how you do prattle on: Do you really think that corporations only have offices in one place? Microsoft has had offices all over the country for decades. Boeing is the same. Why wouldn't Amazon? Your paranoia about the Seattle City Council (which, admittedly, is as prime a collection of nitwits and sociopaths as every to be assembled in one place) is a tired conservative talking point.

And a 42 story office tower for Amazon in Bellevue is a fine thing for Seattle. Once again, companies do not require their employees to live in, and spend all their money in, the same town their offices are in. That's why we have two bridges across the lake, dear.


@7 -- OK, let's play that out. Assume that the U. S. makes a major investment in high speed rail. Building that rail has a huge environmental impact. It still doesn't make sense to take a train from Seattle to New York, or L. A. to Chicago. High speed rail replaces trips that are shorter -- L. A. to San Fransisco, Seattle to Portland, the existing network on the East Coast as well as a few cities in Texas and the Midwest. That means that it won't get as many new passengers. The big question is whether it would get enough to justify the environmental cost of construction. Probably not:

There are several things that can be done though:

1) Electrification of all rail systems.
2) Faster and more consistent train service using existing rail lines. For example, the long range plan for Portland to Seattle service is for a two and a half hour trip. That is faster than driving and more convenient than flying. Yet it doesn't require a major investment in new rail.
3) Electric (propeller) airplanes, for short flights. We will never have high speed rail to Yakima, for example (no one is going to build a tunnel). But an electric airplane could get someone there very quickly.
4) Aviation biofuel.
5) Better bus service (using electric buses) for trips like Seattle to Bellingham.

And of course, all the other things that need to happen around transportation as well as everything else. There should be a tax on things that cause global warming, which includes fuel consumption, as well as cattle (cows create methane with their cud chewing). A decent tax would make electric flights cheaper, and electric buses (and trains) even more affordable.


@14 -- " All they have to do is follow the example set by Microsoft and Amazon. Dump this town and go where business is welcome."

Ha! You really need to do some research before writing such bullshit. Microsoft started in New Mexico. Then they moved to Redmond. Since then, they have added more and offices outside of Redmond, including big office buildings in Bellevue (closer to Seattle).

Amazon started in Bellevue, but moved to Seattle. They employ about 50,000 people here, and want to hire a lot more. While they like Seattle for obvious business reasons, they probably feel like the region is tapped out. There are only so many CS grads in this area or people willing to move here. Thus the whole "HQ2" plan, that eventually fizzled, while they decided to just have satellite offices in various places (like Bellevue). But job openings in Seattle still lead the list.

Just this year, Expedia moved to Seattle (they moved during the pandemic, so no big splash announcement). They have deep pockets, so when people start traveling again, they will be ready (in Seattle). Thus Expedia moved their headquarters from Bellevue to Seattle -- I don't know of any company that size that has done the opposite. Maybe the Bellevue City Council should do something so that Bellevue can be a place where business is welcome, like Seattle.

Meanwhile, Boeing moved out of Seattle a long time ago. They are headquartered in Chicago. They may move more union jobs to anti-union areas (like South Carolina). That wouldn't surprise me, given the short term, idiotic approach taken by leadership since McNerney. He was responsible for the penny wise, pound foolish approach of the 787. They outsourced everything (not just minor pieces) and ended up losing a shitload of money. That is the mindset, along with being part of the military industrial complex. With no U. S. competition and lots of military hardware, they are too big to fail. They are no longer a company driven by engineering excellence, but a member of the corporate welfare club.

It is hard to say what will happen to the highly skilled workforce that exists in the area. Maybe some other aeronautical company will employ them (Bombardier, Airbus). Or maybe, as so often happens in this country, they will be abandoned, while workers in other countries (in Japan, Korea and Europe) develop those skills and the overall prosperity that comes with it.


Mistral dear, it's so kind of you too look after dear old Auntie Catalina. In fact, I'm so old that I could almost remember when Boeing opened a factory in Wichita back in 1927, and people like you were clutching your pearls and wetting the bed for pretty much the same reasons (only we had to communicate by telegram in those days)

But isn't life funny? When Boeing left that liberal, anti-business, socialist hell that is Wichita in 2014, one of the places they moved those jobs to was - wait for it - Seattle! (actually, the Seattle area, along with Oklahoma City and San Antonio. As we've discussed Boeing doesn't have much, if any, operations in Seattle proper. ).

And while Boeing has cut more than 10,000 jobs here recently - in the aftermath of the 787 disaster and the global pandemic which has gutted travel - that was against the 9000 that they added in Our Fair State just last year. At the end of 2019, Boeing had 71,829 employee, just in Washington. Fancy That! Almost half of their payroll, right here! The recent layoffs represent a net loss (thus far, it's still early into this crisis) of 1000 jobs in our area from that 2019 number. And they don't seem to be hiring much anyplace else - in fact, they're laying off people in Canada and Australia as well.

Now compare and contrast that with those Halcyon Days of the late 60's early 70's when Boeing - buffered by bad debt, rising interest rates, and the cancellation of the SST - cut 50% of their Seattle workforce (which was half of what it is today). Here's what Historylink has to say.....

"Layoffs hit every department. The number of hourly workers declined from 40,000 to 15,000. The number of engineers and scientists, which had been near 15,000, dropped by more than half. Office staff was cut from 24,000 to 9,000. Managerial positions were slashed all the way up the line, and even the top executives took pay cuts of up to 25 percent."

By the end of it, they reduced employment by 50%, in a town that was much more dependent on Boeing than it is now. The reverberations of that lasted up through the 80's, and it was in part what made it so easy to live a slacker lifestyle on Capitol Hill back in the day, or buy a house if you had the cash, but nobody had any money.

While I know that you are scared of the Seattle city council, let me sooth your fevered brow by whispering gently in your ear that the council has no jurisdiction over things that happen outside the city. Renton, Tukwilla, Everett, et al, are all safe from your personal demons. And while we still have a huge concentration of military in our region, Boeing will be here.