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Thread: Boeing "machinists" average $85K/year....

  1. #21
    Doug is offline Diamond
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    I worked at Boeing three different times in engineering. Two of those I was in contact with union "machinists". Those were not machinists like what most of us on this forum consider machinists. Some were not much more than floor sweepers. The vast majority of the "machinists" in the union come no where near metal cutting machinery. Considering abilities most are very well paid.

    What I am amazed at is these same people are willing to risk their future employment in the area where their skill sets outside of Boeing have slim to no value to employers. Outside of Boeing in this area aerospace part makers pay something like half of Boeing's scale for the equivalent work.

  2. #22
    michiganbuck is online now Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big B View Post
    When I retired from a large automotive OEM supplier I was at the top of the hourly pay scale at about $33/Hr. Every time a contract came up for renewal the press would plaster figures like $85/Hr. all over the news as "average wage". Lots of people that I knew thought I was making over $85 because they knew that I was skilled trades. My take home pay after taxes was likely closer to $22/Hr. after taxes.

    I know that insurance is expensive, but over $50/hr for bennies seems a little suspect. They were probably figuring in the space that our benches sat in and the machines that we ran.

    As the old saying goes, "Figures do not lie. Liars figure".

    I can say that running my own shop makes $33/hr seem like chump change. If I couldn't average much more than that I would quit doing it. Add to that the fact that literally everything I do related to the business is a tax deduction. Working hourly at the plant I didn't get much in the line of deductions.

    Not many things I find more entertaining than listening to the wealthy bitch about how much the peons make and how much taxes they pay. It is pretty simple to me. If you are paying lots of taxes you are making lots of money. But then the wealthy don't feel they should have to pay for the infrastructure that keeps this country going. Only the little people pay taxes, according to the late Leona Helmsley.

    Big B
    Same went for lay-off. The news papers said we got 95% but failed to state that the amount would become the gross amount not the net amount. Everyone thought 95% take home when actually take home was about 60%.

    My pay rate was about $34 and the papers were saying over $70 cost to the company so people thought we were making $70 an hour.

  3. #23
    Sequim Tool is online now Cast Iron
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    Only a very very small % of the Boeing workers are Machinist they are Aerospace workers. It's the local 751 Machinist and Aerospace workers Union The machinist Union in Seattle is Local 79.
    And most of the Machinist work at Boeing has been sent off shore and will never come back. The Aerospace worker has to thank the Machinist for his or her big pay check but you Aerospace bums are selling us machinist out by letting the Co. off shore and Machinist work. Keep it up Aerospace worker till you don't have the Machinists as a bargaining chip to get your big contract.
    Yes I worked for Boeing along time ago A-3510 at plant 2
    If you want a Machinist job in Seattle go with Local 79 union shop!

  4. #24
    Sbalder is offline Plastic
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    In my day job I have stumbled my way to entry-level-lower-middle-management at a large midwest manufacturer. They changed our benefits website this year to show "total compensation" with the total being about 150% of my salary. Full details aren't given, so I assume this includes the cost of all of my "benefits":
    -Obsolete computer
    -Free parking
    -Employer provided lighting from 7:30-5:30 PM; employees working after hours can sign out the department rape whistle
    -All-you-can-wipe 1/2 ply toilet paper
    -No charge prostate screening, as someone checks mine 3 times a day.
    Oldwrench, Keyepitts, SND and 10 others like this.

  5. #25
    manualmachinist is online now Hot Rolled
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    I thought that I had heard about Boeing teaching some of their manufacturing techniques to the Japanese.
    If they do not get their way. They might move more of their manufacturing offshore.

    Boeing hopeful of 777X deal, may build wings in Japan if rejected | Reuters

    Airbus isn’t going to be their only competition, Next thing you know the Mitsubishi Heavy, Kawasaki Heavy and Fuji Heavy will do to Boeing what Toyota did to General Motors.

  6. #26
    Sequim Tool is online now Cast Iron
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    At Boeing the Machinist work is not going way to Japan and China it's gone, long gone. Back in the day Boeing worker prided him and her self in building the best airplane in the world now the parts come in from all over the place and nothing fits. Good luck flying on one. You 751 Aerospace workers sold out the Machinist now the Co. is selling you out.
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  7. #27
    barky is offline Aluminum
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    Paying taxes for infrastructure and core elements of the nation is one thing. Hosing out the freebees to the breeder class and even encouraging their state is a F'n scandal I cant stomach. Our local county is drowning in deadbeats that have no interest in anything but being a government consumer and bought vote......
    toolsteel likes this.

  8. #28
    hickstick_10 is offline Stainless
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    Never mind
    Last edited by hickstick_10; 11-14-2013 at 05:41 AM. Reason: kind of rambling off topic

  9. #29
    wrustle is offline Titanium
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    Boeing machinists overwhelmingly reject deal on building 777X - NBC News.com


    Looks like they may be taking one hell of a cut in pay......as in unemployed.

  10. #30
    michiganbuck is online now Titanium
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    Another big deceiving factor of the report is failure to post the average number of hours worked.
    Unbiased honest reporting would have said average take home pay was____ and average number of hours worked was ___ .

    Giving away tax money is not the answer. At least it was the Fed giving my money away.
    If the vote should reject the contract Boeing says the work may go elsewhere, as Boeing did when they set up a plant in SC for the Dreamliner. The Washington state legislature just gave Boeing a 9 billion tax reduction if they stay here with new planes.

    what? about 3.5 million jobs in Washington state to give $9 billion. that looks like about $2,500. per worker give away. Wow is that right? I will have to check that with my calculator.

  11. #31
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    They are fighting Lockheed for phantom works right now. If they can get the phantom works project from .gov ($200M) they will me making a lot of drones.

  12. #32
    Joe T. is offline Aluminum
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    Orcutt said he doesn't believe Boeing would build the 777X wing elsewhere because the Washington workforce is trained, tooling for the plane is in place and new production lines are risky. He expects the company to eventually come back with another offer.
    IBM Kingston built a bridge over the highway to connect two buildings together to help people get from one side to the other. 2 years after that they left lock stock and barrel. Just saying ..... They just invested a lot of money and left as promised when an agreement wasn't met.

    I hope the workers at Boeing have still jobs after all this dust clears. What happened in Kingston is history.

  13. #33
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    I think it's funny how all you bitter machinists cheer for the unions getting screwed, all while the banksters and ultra elite directly screw you. Why don't you focus your hate at the big boys and not worry if some Boeing machinist makes 80k a year.

  14. #34
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    Since Boeing has already downsized by 100,000 jobs in the last ten or fifteen years, in Puget Sound, I dont think the Union guys really trust em not to eventually lay them all off anyway.
    Nowhere in the Boeing "offer" was any actual guarantee of work, or job numbers- just some vague promises.
    The tax package of $8.7 Billion dollars that the State just voted to give Boeing- that is a firm number, and the State WILL give them the various tax cuts they asked for.
    But the other end, the job "promises"- none of them are in writing, or enforceable in any way.

    So its my guess that the Union members figure they are screwed either way, so they might as well go down fighting.

    Dunno though- never been in a Union in my life, or even had an employer to speak of since 1978. I could sure never sign up at Boeing, even for that lofty eleven bucks an hour they are starting at these days.
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  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    IN 2008, I believe, Boeing renegotiated their salaries with the IAM. The old guys, who were on before then, might average 85k. But the new hires start at eleven bucks.
    Here is the wage card from the IAM website.
    New hires start at the bottom left corner.
    IAM District 751 wage card

    This makes for a two tier system with the young guys making more like 35k.
    Good link Ries - I could not afford to pay ALL of my people in this manner and still be in business. I quote:
    Rates Shown Are First Shift
    Second Shift: Add $.75 Third Shift: Add $.10

    Seniority Progression Increases of $.50 Will Occur
    at 6 Month Intervals Up To The Maximum Rate
    12 grades - with mid grade of 5 spanning $33,280 (with no O/T or shift differential) with mandatory raises of a $1.00/hour/year it will take 20 years to peak out if you never leave this position ending up at $75,630 (with no O/T or shift differential)

    At present - the guys in my shop span "grade level" 5 when profit sharing and bonuses are figured in (but not counting health insurance and 401k).

    Given the guarantee of COLA and a $0.50 / hour raise every six months for a given position regardless of performance, in our company this would require that the guys grow at a rate that is commensurate with pay or that we charge more for what we do to keep up with labor expenses . . . i.e. we cannot lose money to stay in business and if we go crazy with our prices no one will purchase from us so we have to strike a balance.

    I have a couple of experienced guys near the top of this scale but if anything, they have not grown much if at all since the first year they have been here. I have other guys who started at the bottom of this scale who have surpassed the guys with the most seniority because they learned new skills and have grown in their capabilities. In a few cases, they have broken out of the "grade level 5" and one in particular has hit the upper end of "grade level 8" - and may well own part of the company in the next decade.

    We are getting ready for Customer Acceptance Test of what has grown to a 126 Axis machine that is presently being assembled in South Carolina. 54 of those axes are Sinumerik CNC with the balance Simotion (GO SIEMENS!) . . . and we spent 1000's of hours designing the machine interface and software and post such that the operator has really only about 6 buttons that he can use to run the entire machine (except during contingencies like encountering a flaw coupon in the roll or breaking an insert . . . the machine has over 200 buttons and hundreds of screens . . . but as long as it operates as designed - fewer than 10 buttons is all it takes).

    The specification was written in a way as to require a maximum of an 8th grade reading level to operate the machine. Most of the skill required will be changing out rolls of carbon fiber, replacing cutter inserts and negotiating the light curtains and E-Stops. The "kid" who wired the machine is about 28 years old, had never run a machine tool in his life and yet after a few months of hanging around during development and testing could run the machine as good as any of the Boeing guys who were present for testing / training. I wouldn't be surprised if this machine could be run by anyone with a "knack for machines" with a few weeks of training. This is becoming much more prevalent of the "machinist" positions in the new era of automation.

    This machine will make a very complex part in about 20 minutes with one operator with what we hope is a better than 99% yield. Present methods for making the part take about 6 hours per part using 4 skilled people with a yield of about 80% and very high scrap rates. . . my sense is that innovation like this will lower the level of skill required to make highly complex quality parts and make it more likely that the manufacturing that will be done will be able to stay in the US.
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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by motion guru View Post
    Good link Ries - I could not afford to pay ALL of my people in this manner and still be in business. I quote:


    12 grades - with mid grade of 5 spanning $33,280 (with no O/T or shift differential) with mandatory raises of a $1.00/hour/year it will take 20 years to peak out if you never leave this position ending up at $75,630 (with no O/T or shift differential)

    At present - the guys in my shop span "grade level" 5 when profit sharing and bonuses are figured in (but not counting health insurance and 401k).

    Given the guarantee of COLA and a $0.50 / hour raise every six months for a given position regardless of performance, in our company this would require that the guys grow at a rate that is commensurate with pay or that we charge more for what we do to keep up with labor expenses . . . i.e. we cannot lose money to stay in business and if we go crazy with our prices no one will purchase from us so we have to strike a balance.

    I have a couple of experienced guys near the top of this scale but if anything, they have not grown much if at all since the first year they have been here. I have other guys who started at the bottom of this scale who have surpassed the guys with the most seniority because they learned new skills and have grown in their capabilities. In a few cases, they have broken out of the "grade level 5" and one in particular has hit the upper end of "grade level 8" - and may well own part of the company in the next decade.

    We are getting ready for Customer Acceptance Test of what has grown to a 126 Axis machine that is presently being assembled in South Carolina. 54 of those axes are Sinumerik CNC with the balance Simotion (GO SIEMENS!) . . . and we spent 1000's of hours designing the machine interface and software and post such that the operator has really only about 6 buttons that he can use to run the entire machine (except during contingencies like encountering a flaw coupon in the roll or breaking an insert . . . the machine has over 200 buttons and hundreds of screens . . . but as long as it operates as designed - fewer than 10 buttons is all it takes).

    The specification was written in a way as to require a maximum of an 8th grade reading level to operate the machine. Most of the skill required will be changing out rolls of carbon fiber, replacing cutter inserts and negotiating the light curtains and E-Stops. The "kid" who wired the machine is about 28 years old, had never run a machine tool in his life and yet after a few months of hanging around during development and testing could run the machine as good as any of the Boeing guys who were present for testing / training. I wouldn't be surprised if this machine could be run by anyone with a "knack for machines" with a few weeks of training. This is becoming much more prevalent of the "machinist" positions in the new era of automation.

    This machine will make a very complex part in about 20 minutes with one operator with what we hope is a better than 99% yield. Present methods for making the part take about 6 hours per part using 4 skilled people with a yield of about 80% and very high scrap rates. . . my sense is that innovation like this will lower the level of skill required to make highly complex quality parts and make it more likely that the manufacturing that will be done will be able to stay in the US.

    Yes, but remember, that, unlike your company, about 50% of Boeing's work is cost plus government contracts, where they CANNOT lose money- profit is guaranteed, no matter the over-runs.
    And the other half of Boeing's work is sold with loans backed by the US government, thru the Import Export bank.

    Which means, basically, that we, the taxpayers, backstop Boeing in both its military and commercial divisions, ensuring they can afford to pay their employees those high wages.
    I dont think this is all wrong- we would not have commercial jetliners at all, in the world, if the Feds hadnt paid Boeing to develop the KC tanker series, which basically subsidized the development of viable commercial jets. Similarly, we have paid Boeing to develop all kinds of breakthroughs that have had tremendous commercial applications, resulting in american jobs, technological advances, and yes, employment.
    We, as a nation, have decided, for the last 60 years, that supporting Boeing with tax dollars helped us all, militarily, technologically, and economically.
    And, I would argue, it has paid off in spades.

    Even with the enormous investment the european governments have made in Airbus, Boeing is still dominant worldwide. Not many other US industries you can say that about, for 60 years running.

    So, yes, the salaries, and other costs at Boeing are out of line with regular, smaller, ordinary american businesses, but Boeing is not in that category- its really a privately owned, government supported, military contractor, technological innovator, and economic engine.

    Things like the CNC machine tools we all take for granted would never have been built unless the feds had subsidized their purchase for the first 20 years. Carbon Fiber in large scale industrial use is another example of that process. The Feds paid, with cost plus contracts, for the first 20 years of the development for that, as well. And lots more.

    Boeing is a special case, and one of the very few examples of a working industrial policy the US government has.

    You can certainly argue, on political or ideological points, that we should not subsidize companies in that way- but we have, for a long time, and it has borne a lot of good results. Without that government support, other commercial airline companies, that ARE supported by European, Canadian, or Brazilian governments, would be eating our lunch.
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  17. #37
    PeteM is online now Diamond
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    For a brief period after WWII it seems the US had a pretty good balance between management and labor. Executives were happy with "just" double digit multiples of their employees income. They worked to build successful companies -- and also had concerns about the towns they lived in. Workers were keen to learn new skills and put in the kind of work that merited promotion. That combination helped the US, as it emerged an industrial powerhouse after WWII, become the world's most prosperous nation.

    Now it seems we have dysfunctional vestiges on both ends. Unions want guaranteed jobs and pay for their members, pretty much regardless of either productivity or their industry's outlook. The IBM situation, by the way, was as much a reflection of changing technology (away from mainframes dominating the entire computer industry) as a wage dispute.

    Many of today's CXO's don't seem to care much about anything (including customers, employees, shareholders, the community infrastructure supporting them, or their own company's future) besides what they can take out of the company before it's trashed.

    What can be said is that jobs have to pay enough to attract young people willing to put in the years it takes to learn increasingly skilled trades. Otherwise the work heads elsewhere. I'm more concerned for the skilled jobs heading abroad than clerk jobs being destroyed by e-commerce. It's a bit perverse that folks who've retired on their feet may be getting paid $85K per year, while $22K a year and poor prospects beckon those considering a career in aerospace manufacturing.

    What can also be said is that the "modern" executive who's willing to screw customers, employees, long-term shareholders etc. at the drop of a bonus is a parasite on society.

    How Boeing sorts this out, I'm not sure. Ries makes good points about its special place in US manufacturing.

    Military aviation is probably moving on to pilot-less aircraft. Probably less factory floor jobs in assembling those. Commercial aviation should remain strong; though perhaps splitting a bit like the old computer industry where giant airliners = mainframes and newer classes of regional aircraft and air taxes = mid range to personal computers? Whatever the new jobs, hopefully they are here.
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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by motion guru View Post
    This machine will make a very complex part in about 20 minutes with one operator with what we hope is a better than 99% yield. Present methods for making the part take about 6 hours per part using 4 skilled people with a yield of about 80% and very high scrap rates.
    Two words.

    Technological Singularity.

  19. #39
    Insert is offline Cast Iron
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    You get what you pay for.

    I have worked as an Engineer at multiple Aerospace companies. The successful companies paid a higher wage across the board, from engineers to operators. Interacting with the higher paid operators was a pleasure compared to the lower paid ones. The company that paid the lowest, the operators literally ruled the shop floor and would completely ignore the planning and what they were told to do, and loved to produce scrap parts and then blame engineering for not making the process bulletproof. At the company that paid the highest, the operators could build the parts with there eyes closed and were always open to changes and working with the engineers to improve things.

    At a place like Boeing that has a moving assembly line, its cheaper to pay for the right operator than keep fixing the cheaper operators errors.

    Keep in mind, in aerospace overtime is very very common. I knew many operators that were earning almost double of there 40hr a week yearly pay.

  20. #40
    WallyBert is offline Plastic
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    I have worked for Aerospace Sub-Contractor's for the last 28 years.
    Three different shops all specilizing in machining Aero-Struccture.

    The last two shops have a habit of hiring every Boeing/McDonnell Douglas retiree they
    can get their hands on.

    Thus, another fringe benifit of working for Boeing.

    If you are retired from Boeing you are almost guaranteed a position with any of the area
    sub-contractors you choose.

    You could go to work for Boeing when your 20...work for 25-30 years,then
    collect a good salary from one of the sub-contractors for another 15-20 years all
    the while recieving your full pension and health bennies from "Big B".

    I just wish I had recognized this when I was a Lad starting out.
    I'd have done the exact same thing.

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