Mixed Messages from Boeing CEO

The CEO of Boeing’s Commercial Airplane division, Jim Albaugh, sat down recently for a lengthy interview with Seattle Times reporter Dominic Gates and promptly took credit for driving the decision to build a second 787 assembly line in South Carolina. Albaugh then admitted that the company had outsourced far too much work and declared his first preference for a location to build future aircraft was in the Puget Sound.

Albaugh also expressed respect for Machinists and Engineers at Boeing and indicated workers would have greater input in future design decisions. The CEO said his focus was to secure long-term employment but declared that reduced wage rates would be a priority for the company going forward.

The remarks about workers’ wages came just days after an announcement by the company that Albaugh and Boeing CEO Jim McNerney each collected $3 million in bonuses.

In a response to the Times article, District 751 President and DBR Tom Wroblewski posted a bulletin in which he agreed with Albaugh’s praise for aerospace workers in the Puget Sound. Wroblewski also welcomed Albaugh’s remarks about outsourcing.

“We’ve got a long way to go until our next contract talks in 2012, and who knows what will happen when we get back to the bargaining table. But if Boeing is truly committed to dialing back two decades of outsourcing, then I’d say our chances of reaching a contract this time are that much better,” said Wroblewski.