Boeing, the unions and your commercial jets

Like many of you waiting for your 777 or 787 to arrive, I’ve been closely watching the progress of Boeing against their rival unions for the last two months.

As the manufacturing woes go, the International Association of Machinists (IAM) has been striking against the airframe manufacturer since early September, primarily citing worries about their jobs going overseas. For, Boeing, who has a long queue for 777s and 737s let alone the roll out of their new 787 Dreamliner to worry over, this strike can’t come at a worse time. Already the company is falling drastically behind on its production schedule, and with every day of delay, airlines cancel orders, demand repercussions and become more agitated.

V Australia is a prime example. The new long haul carrier was originally slated to receive six 777s from Boeing, with three to begin service in this quarter. Planning for launch, the airline sold a deluge of cheap fall and winter tickets, riling up passengers and building up the buzz — only to have their aircraft delayed by the manufacturer. To make commitments, the airline booked passengers on other carriers at what must have been an immense loss. And they’re not even operating yet.

As the strike winds down this week and the two opponents finally come into agreement (hopefully), lets all be thankful that this bickering is over and that we can get back to fulfilling orders, making passengers happy, earning money and most of all, making damn good airplanes.

You can read more about the strike at fleetbuzzeditorial.