Hot Air posted an article today about job losses at the Boeing Aircraft plant in Washington State. The company announced this week that 1,800 unionized employees at the Seattle facility will be losing their jobs.
The article further reports:
The Post & Courier newspaper reported that 2,097 of 2,828 voting workers — 74.2 percent — cast ballots against unionization.
Under NLRB rules, workers must wait a year before another union vote. In a statement, Machinists organizer Mike Evans said the union was disappointed with the vote but vowed to stay in close touch with Boeing workers to figure out next steps.
The article concludes by explaining exactly what is happening:
So 1800 workers in Washington are finding themselves unemployed. At the same time, more than 3000 people in the Palmetto State have gone to work, begun training and started pumping new life into the economy. So why aren’t the two unions in Washington who are making this doleful announcement talking about that story? I’m just taking a shot in the dark here, but it might be because South Carolina is a right to work state and the union has already been roundly rejected by the workers there who want to see the business grow and not kill the new goose which is suddenly laying a considerable quantity of golden eggs.
Boeing is not crashing and burning, nor is the economy collapsing. What we’re seeing is a rebalancing of resources where employers are going to places where there is an available pool of skilled labor and they can simultaneously keep labor costs under control to remain competitive in a challenging global market. Much like everything else in our capitalist system, such transitions produce winners and losers. Unfortunately for the employees of Boeing, their unions have opened the door to the “loser” side of the equation hitting the folks in Washington state while the benefits accrue to the citizens of South Carolina.
And that, folks, is how the free market works. In the end, more people gained jobs than lost them, and Boeing will be more competitive in world markets. That is a win-win. Unions are a useful tool, but they need to remember that if their contracts produce an unworkable business model for the company they work for, everyone loses.