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We kick the ass of the ruling class

Workers at @Boeing, Your Time Has Come, #OCCUPY Your Factory!

Posted 11 months ago on Nov. 20, 2013, 10:34 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: drones, socialist, occupy, direct action, Boeing

Seattle City Councilmember-elect Seattle City Councilmember-elect Kshama Sawant told Boeing machinists her idea of a radical option, should their jobs be moved out of state.

“The workers should take over the factories, and shut down Boeing’s profit-making machine,” Sawant announced to a cheering crowd of union supporters in Seattle’s Westlake Park Monday night.

This week, Sawant became Seattle’s first elected Socialist council member. She ran on a platform of anti-capitalism, workers’ rights, and a $15 per-hour minimum wage for Seattle workers.

On Monday night, she spoke to supporters of Boeing Machinists, six days after they rejected a contract guaranteeing jobs in Everett building the new 777X airliner for eight years, in exchange for new workers giving up their guaranteed company pensions. Now Boeing is threatening to take those jobs to other states.

“That will be nothing short of economic terrorism because it's going to devastate the state's economy,” she said.

Sawant is calling for machinists to literally take-possession of the Everett airplane-building factory, if Boeing moves out. She calls that "democratic ownership."

“The only response we can have if Boeing executives do not agree to keep the plant here is for the machinists to say the machines are here, the workers are here, we will do the job, we don't need the executives. The executives don’t do the work, the machinists do,” she said.

Sawant says after workers “take-over” the Everett Boeing plant; they could build things everyone can use.

“We can re-tool the machines to produce mass transit like buses, instead of destructive, you know, war machines,” she told KIRO 7.

Sawant says she was referring to “drones” when speaking of war machines. Still, she says even as they work on the lines, building airplanes daily, she believes Boeing workers are under siege.

“Workers have to realize, they have more power than they think,” she said.

Original story from KIROTV


full infographic here

46 Comments

46 Comments


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[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21276) 11 months ago

This is awesome. Hope in America!

[-] -1 points by hellino (0) from Morioka, Iwate Prefecture 11 months ago

Yes, awesome idea. But I wonder how the machinists will get money to transform the plant in order to build something different? I guess they'll have to convince buyers to put the money up front? Also, it might be hard for buyers to trust a newly transformed business creating new products where some of the managers and executives will be ex-machinists doing that for the first time. One solution might be for the people of a city to put pressure in trusting them with the tax payers' money. A city could order mass transit vehicles for example.

The idea is simple enough, but the execution of a transition is quite complex. I hope they can create a detailed plan and presented to their city.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21276) 11 months ago

I'm not sure execution is as hard as you think. It's about sharing the profits more fairly through things like cutting the wages of management and, running things less for profit for shareholders and more for the benefit of employees.

[-] 0 points by hellino (0) from Morioka, Iwate Prefecture 11 months ago

Once profits come in I agree it should be easy enough to use them appropriately and make the enterprise flourish. What I'm wondering is how to make the transition to creating a new product. Surely, that's not so easy without a large amount of money being injected into the company. Dropping the current managers and owners also means dropping all the money the company has in its coffers. The turnaround isn't so easy. Possible, but I think it would require a very well thought out plan. They would get a factory by force (which could be considered against the law). If the company sells them the factory, how do they pay? How do they convince buyers that their new product will be good? Without a strong investment, I think it would be difficult to get buyers to pay in advance. And, if they do accept an investment to get things rolling, then they aren't owners anymore.

How would you propose such a transition happen in reality? What would happen in detail? I think this needs to be thought out. This forum is a good place to do this. If we can come up with a concrete plan, it would give the workers to confidence to go about executing it. We can help in this regard.

For example, let's be very generous and suppose the company gives them the factory. Now, they want to start creating a new product. Where do they get the money to pay the parts, to pay wages, etc... until the first sale? Creating something like mass transit vehicles can take a lot of time. It might be a year before they make their first sale.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21276) 11 months ago

I know nothing about airplane manufacturing, but I'll bet the employees do. I'll bet they know the machinery in place and what it is capable of producing. Once production is in place for appropriate products and the intense desire for ridiculous amounts of profits is no longer the only goal, production can continue in a more sustainable way to benefit the employees. There would be no longer a need to toil to enrich the shareholders.

[-] 0 points by hellino (0) from Morioka, Iwate Prefecture 11 months ago

I know this, but you need a lot of money to start making planes! If Boeing is out of the equation, then they need to make a sale before they can work. Usually, you create the plane then get some people to buy it. At the very least, you need to show them some designs. There will be a dead time in between Boeing leaving and a new contract being paid during which no money will be coming in to pay the employees, electricity, heat, rent, etc... These types of factories cost a LOT of money to operate!

I would be very surprised if they could continue making planes. This area is controlled by Boeing and Airbus. It would be hard to find buyers for planes from a new unknown company. Don't forget, they couldn't simply copy Boeings models, they are patented! They would need a long time to create a new type of plane. Who pays?

Much more likely, they would have to start creating another type of product. Perhaps going into mass transit vehicles like the article suggests. If this is the case, then the people of their city could give them an advance with their taxes. That could give them the resources to start creating. This makes the most sense to me.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21276) 11 months ago

I think the customers would be happy to pay less for the products, no more extreme profits to shareholders and executives. This would cut the price. They might even get more business.

Your last paragraph is a good outline of one option as well.

[-] 1 points by hellino (0) from Morioka, Iwate Prefecture 11 months ago

Yes, depends on the product. Buying planes is a really complicated matter. All kinds of laws involved, planes must undergo various tests (the factory is no where they undergo them, they need another facility), etc...

I really believe they would need to look at another product. Something easier to make and faster to make. That way they can go to sale faster and get the money coming in again in a shorter timespan.

I really don't see them going up against Boeing and Airbus. Could happen, but I would be very surprised.

Another problem, these people are specialists trained in building big planes. Not sure they could switch to another product so easily either. Kind of complicated.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21276) 11 months ago

The biggest help in making this work would be ending the extraction of insane profits for shareholders who, for the most part, take that money out of the country and hoard it for themselves. Prices will come down when that happens, and perhaps more people will have the opportunity to fly, and even visit you in Japan.

[-] 4 points by DKAtoday (26973) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

The biggest help in making this work would be ending the extraction of insane profits for shareholders who, for the most part, take that money out of the country and hoard it for themselves.

ABSOLUTELY THE TRUTH - across the board all businesses and whatever the hell wallstreet is.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21276) 11 months ago

Exactly. Here is a great video of Richard Wolf on the matter, courtesy sff. "How the Business Community Screwed the Working Class."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1cQtGozGM0

[-] 2 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 11 months ago

Wolff is great.... a real person too, as are Hedges, Flowers, Zeese, Stein, Bernie, O' Neil, Goldstein, Wen, Carty and, and........

Do you get the picture that I'm trying to create bw? Not that you already don't know. But just as a reminder, we have a lot of good people working hard to achieve the sea-change that we so desparately need.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21276) 10 months ago

You are right, there are many good people who get what is going on and who are dedicated to informing the general public. As Chomsky says, that really is the next, and most important step.

[-] 1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 months ago

We finally have a religious leader who is addressing the reasons, not the effects of human misery. And of course the 'reasons' are an economic system that is inhumane in putting the almighty dollar before people. Didn't Pope Francis say a financial system is supposed to serve and not rule. Whoever said it, they were right.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21276) 10 months ago

People over profit! Not that hard a concept, but, a powerful one.

[-] 1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 months ago

I agree outreach should be on top of our of to do list, as Chomsky should have been on the top of my list of people who have educated so many other people. Like Wolff who said, he has given more speeches in the last two years than he has in the previous forty years, both were way ahead of their time. The difference....Occupy.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21276) 10 months ago

Occupy has planted the seeds, and the seeds are growing.

[-] 0 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 months ago

Replying here. And now we have the Pope watering those "seeds."

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21276) 10 months ago

Yes, the new Pope seems to get it, that the distribution of wealth matters, that all people matter. Wonderful.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (26973) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

Yep - living off of credit cards to make the difference for lack of pay - now there is a recipe for success - if one is planning on declaring bankruptcy

We used to call out on the machine shop floor ( just a tad sarcastically ) MORE PARTS - LESS PAY

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21276) 11 months ago

It is quite remarkable what the greedy bastards have pulled off. Economic tyranny.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26973) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

Thing is - they are pushing total collapse - who is gonna support their businesses once no-one has any money? Put that aside their businesses are as dead as the rest of the world if practices do not change right now.

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[-] 0 points by hellino (0) from Morioka, Iwate Prefecture 11 months ago

I'm not really afraid about it being messy, I'm more afraid of the project becoming paralyzed from lack of funds. I don't think you can go in with the idea that "we'll simply roll up our sleeves and make it happen!". I think you really need a concrete detailed plan for this type of operation. There's a lot of money required to run these types of operations. If we could come up with a sound economic strategy for workers so they can take over factories and keep working without running out of money, then we are in business.

We certainly need this. Certainly. We can make a better future this way. BUT it needs to be planed very carefully so that it has the most chances to succeed.

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[-] 0 points by highlife (2) 11 months ago

You've been stinkled for being pragmatic. What a surprise

[-] 0 points by hellino (0) from Morioka, Iwate Prefecture 11 months ago

Meh, it's OK. All the Occupy events I followed were more about identifying problems than providing solutions. Thing is real solutions are hard. Still, I think occupiers will eventually want to start looking at working out solutions instead of just talking about the problems. It's harder, but it's where the real challenge lies.

Anyways, I do hope the workers manage to take over the factory somehow and find solutions to the problems I noted above.

BTW - I don't think forum points are important. There's only a few comments per day, so they all get read.

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[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (26973) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

Lockheed seems to be the star of stretching the bribe money for profit.

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[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 10 months ago

To those who have an issue with this proposal.

Please calculate the numeric value of all tax breaks given to Boeing and it's suppliers in Washington, and consider that they will renege, if they leave.

Just think of it as a tax lean foreclosure.

[-] 2 points by Fez (20) 11 months ago

The Boeing factories in the Seattle area already exclusively make commercial airplanes (e.g., mass transit), not military vehicles. The Everett factory makes 747s, 767s, 777s, and 787s while the Renton factory makes 737s.

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 4 months ago

The beginning of the Seattle Commune?

[-] 2 points by 99nproud (2697) 4 months ago

That was a century a half ago man.

We're in a new Millennium.

We must "hang together, or we will surely hang separately" (I raise you a 17th century quote!!)

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 4 months ago

Our voices when we whisper together are quiet and meaningless. It takes a lot longer than 150 years to so radically alter human behaviour.

[-] 3 points by 99nproud (2697) 4 months ago

However long it takes, and with LOUD raucous protests the radical progressive change that is inevitable WILL come.

No worries.

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 4 months ago

Okey doke!

[-] 3 points by 99nproud (2697) 4 months ago

Sarcasm again.

HA!!!

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 4 months ago

You're catchin on.

[-] 3 points by 99nproud (2697) 4 months ago

Knew all along.

Easy peezy

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 4 months ago

I like you!

[-] 3 points by 99nproud (2697) 4 months ago

Not so sure about that, but so be it, I won't argue.

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 4 months ago

That's genuine. Without you guys and this site I couldn't vent as much as I do.

[-] 2 points by 99nproud (2697) 4 months ago

Glad to be of service.

That's a community working together to address your individual need for sarcastic expression/venting.

[-] 1 points by WasJon (1) 11 months ago

“Workers have to realize, they have more power than they think,” she said. So true I think, This system is very out of control and abusive and to me it seems to be our fault. How? We work for it, we propel it along with our labor, we never say " enough" and walk away. The working men and women are the only thing in this or any country that generates money or wealth, everybody else just exploits them. All the power is with the working class. I say we all walk away and let them exploit each other for a while and see what happens. If the working class all stopped working for these proverbial pimps, stopped paying their extortion's and traded among ourselves what do you think would happen then? I think probably drone strikes in America against the leaders of such a movement. Be very careful, these pimps have guns and bombs and they will not let us bitches go easily.

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[-] -1 points by sharmag (-115) 10 months ago

As a Boeing shareholder, I think you aren't thinking here. The stock will take a beating with decreased cash flow. Their margins will get killed with the reforms you propose. Forget the workers (they can quit if they want), think about the owners!