Letters to the Editor

Boeing's past actions don't seem so ethical

Boeing's move to South Carolina (a right-to-work state) is a not-so-subtle threat to its unions that Boeing holds the power and will retaliate against the unions if necessary.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, in a recent article referred to Boeing as a "good ethical company." Unfortunately, this comment stretches the truth.

In fiscal year 1999, Boeing had contract awards of about $15 billion and was found guilty of misconduct and fined $358 million. In 2003, the Air Force ruled Boeing had stolen proprietary designs for satellite launch systems from Lockheed Martin. The Air Force canceled a contract and awarded it to Lockheed Martin.

In 2003, an Air Force procurement officer was accused of helping Boeing with a contract to lease aerial tankers while she was negotiating a job with them. She was convicted and sentenced to nine months in prison. In addition, the company's CEO and chief financial officer resigned.

In all of these instances, Boeing did not lose existing contracts, except the one mentioned, or the right to bid on new contracts.

When and if the workers in the new North Charleston plant want to join a union, will Boeing prevent this from happening? Will our governor, who is an avowed anti-unionist, assist in some way to prevent unionization of the plant?

I wonder; stay tuned.

Philip W. Wolfe

Bluffton

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