Today I am attempting to step inside the minds of a collective group of idiots. You can help me out.

Please Imagine ….

Imagine you are an employee with a very good paying job, working on a military project the military does not even want. Moreover, President Obama does not want the project either, and has asked to scrap it.

The project only survives because Congressional supporters keep inserting funding for it in appropriation bills.

Making matters even worse, the manufacturer is not happy with the production costs and may move the project elsewhere, assuming of course, funding for the project survives.

OK. What do you do?

A. Thank your lucky stars you have survived so far, grant concessions, pray Congress can slip in another round of funding and hope Obama signs the legislation.

B. Go on strike over medical benefits.

The workers took option B.

Strike at Boeing C-17 plant might help end the program

Please consider Strike at Boeing C-17 plant might help end the program

The 1,700 assembly-line workers at the Long Beach, Calif., plant walked picket lines for a second day Wednesday, demanding better pension and medical benefits. Talks between management and the United Aerospace Workers broke down last week after employees rejected a 46-month contract offer from the company.

The U.S. military has sought to end the program and instead upgrade its aging Lockheed Martin C-5 Galaxy fleet at a fraction of the cost. It also wants to buy more C-130 Hercules planes, a smaller transport aircraft that has proved versatile in wars in the Mideast.

Multiple studies have shown the military has ample air-lift capacity to meet current and future needs, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said in a speech Saturday in Abilene, Kan.

“The leadership of the Air Force is clear: They do not need and cannot afford more C-17s,” Gates said. Yet Congress is fighting to keep it in the defense budget “at an unnecessary potential cost to the taxpayers of billions of dollars over the next few years,” he said.

The latest offer to C-17 workers included an increase in wage and pension benefits, but also called for greater employee contribution to healthcare coverage by 2014.

Employees rejected that and halted production. In total, the California facility employs about 5,000 people.

Boeing suspends C-17 production in wake of strike

In the wake of the strike Boeing suspends C-17 production.

Production of Boeing’s C-17 cargo jet has been indefinitely suspended after workers walked off the job early Tuesday in a dispute over pension and medical benefits.

Some 1,700 line workers began a strike just past midnight, surrounding the plant with hundreds of picket signs a week after workers overwhelmingly rejected Boeing’s “best and final” deal for a new 46-month contract.

The strike comes at a time of uncertainty surrounding the C-17 s future. The Pentagon has stopped new orders, and President Barack Obama specifically targeted the plane for defense budget cuts in his proposed 2010 budget.

“We strongly believe the company’s offer was unethical and disrespectful, and while we didn’t prefer a strike, the members are strongly behind it if that’s what it takes,” said Stan Klemchuk, president of United Aerospace Workers Local 148, which represents the striking workers. “A strike is a lose-lose for everybody, but the pension and medical issue is simply too important to let go.”

“This is about our future,” said Reni Nevels, a 25-year veteran. “We’ve put years of blood, sweat and tears into this plant, many of us going back to the McDonnell Douglas days, and we feel we’ve sacrificed through our careers for the promise of a decent retirement.”

Irrational Behavior

Although we have seen this kind of irrational union behavior time and time again, I still don’t get it. The union was offered a raise on a contract for nearly 4 years, to work on a project that should not even be funded and no one really wants, and somehow that was not enough.

Can someone please step inside the mind of Stan Klemchuk, president of United Aerospace Workers Local 148, and tell me what the hell is going on inside? Why is it that union workers are willing to risk it all when in this case, the odds are stacked heavily that they indeed will lose it all?

The second question is why do we have a system where projects the military does not even want get funded? At least the second question has an answer: Lobbyists and corporations bribe Congressmen for all kinds of wasteful spending projects.

Nonetheless, the whole thing is lunacy, every step of the way.

By the way, president Obama is a coward. He wants to cut the program so he can brag about cutting a piddly percentage of defense spending. However, he will not actively promote what he wants because it would cost union jobs.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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