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Understanding Reality – You Don’t Know What You’ve Lost Till Its Gone

Understanding Reality – You Don’t Know What You’ve Lost Till Its Gone

Courtesy of Mish 

ITAR-TASS 66: SINGAPORE. FEBRUARY 2, 2010. The Cessna 750 Citation X, the fastest civilian aircraft, on display at the Singapore Airshow 2010. (Photo ITAR-TASS/ Marina Lystseva)

As everyone should know by now, my main concern with unions is specifically with public unions. While I do not care for unions at all, and never have, at least with private unions, someone other than corrupt politicians buying votes is bargaining at the other end of the table.

In the case of public unions, if politicians strike a bad deal, taxpayers foot the bill. In the case of private corporations, if management strikes a bad deal, the company goes bankrupt, shareholders take a hit, or the jobs move elsewhere, as soon as the contract is up.

Except in few cases every now and again, private unions just cannot seem to understand this simple economic fact.

Machinists Union Pickets Cessna Aircraft

The Kansas Wichita Eagle highlights the typical union response, public or private, in Cessna’s initial offer to Machinists includes wage cut

Machinist union members at Cessna Aircraft picketed near the company’s plant in southwest Wichita on Thursday to protest jobs being sent outside the city.

Members fought strong, gusty afternoon winds and carried signs that read "Keep it Made in Wichita," "Outsourcing is Treason" and "We built the Air Capital," as they picketed at K-42 and Hoover roads. Some carried American flags.

Cessna and the Machinists union are in the midst of contract negotiations. The current contract expires Sept. 19. About 2,300 hourly workers at Cessna are covered by the agreement. Hawker Beechcraft also has reopened negotiations with the union as it considers sending work to Louisiana, Mississippi and outside the country.

Cessna’s initial proposal is for a 10-year agreement that cuts wages 4.2 percent, weakens job security, replaces the pension plan with a 401(k) plan and increases the share of the cost of health insurance paid by the workers to 30 percent, said union spokesman Bob Wood.

"There’s no job security in the current proposal," Wood said.

"Wichita is based on aircraft," said Cynthia Hise. "If you don’t get a good contract…." Darren Hise finished her sentence. "It’s going to hurt the whole economy in Wichita."

Reflections on Job Security

Here’s the deal. The Hise’s and the union in general, appears ready willing and able to "hurt the whole Wichita economy" if they do not get what they want.

I have to ask "How stupid is that?"

The answer is "tremendously stupid".

It is far better to have a good paying job and no job security than no job at all and no prospects of a job. That’s what it boils down to, and like it or not, that is the economic reality.

I do not know what salaries are, but a 10 year contract with only a 4.2% pay cut does not strike me as a bad deal. Those who think otherwise need to compare it to the alternative: seeing all the jobs go to Louisiana, Mississippi, or outside the country.

By the way, wouldn’t residents of Louisiana and Mississippi be very grateful for those job, regardless of what the salary was? I think so. So the bottom line in this mess, is the unions would be to blame and only the unions to blame if Cessna moves elsewhere. The union will also be responsible for wrecking the entire local economy if it happens.

Take the contract and run! It’s for 10 years! Because …. You Don’t Know What You’ve Lost Till Its Gone, Then It’s Too Late. In this case, it will be gone forever.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock 


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  1. I respectfully disagree. 
      You "do not know what salaries are",  but you think locking in a reduction in pay & increase in  healthcare cost is a good deal ?  There is no guarantee of 10 years employment, only a guarantee of lower standard of living.
      I also don’t know what their salaries are, or management, or Wall streets’ cut, but cheaper is better just doesn’t fly with aircraft.  YOU can fly rookie built, or made in China if you wish. I’d prefer Union Built, Union Proud which has proven to be good for 40-50 years of service.
      Henry Ford helped create the American middle class by offering decent wages for workers, you are championing the opposite.  It’s a relative issue to be negotiated.