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Originally published Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 5:30 AM

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Boeing extends hand of friendship across battle rubble

The Wrap by Ron Judd


Seattle Times staff columnist

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Dole said Think about it Boeing workers, you work for a top United States Company. A... MORE
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Let’s all form a big Happy Circle and praise Boeing, formerly of Seattle, for being proactive.

Some of the company’s big cheeses were out in Everett, extending a hand of friendship toward bitter, shellshocked line workers.

The fact that nary a machinist showed up to embrace it might have something to do with the fact that the last time workers saw the hand, it was holding a gun to their heads. Still, no hard feelings, right? It’s all about family now.

Seriously, it’s nice to see Boeing finally make nice with its employees. And Mr. Wrap, whose natural impulse is to help build bridges, is happy to chip in with a few proven employee-relation tips:

• A little Christmas meat goes a long way.

• Birthday Little Debbie cupcakes on a toolbox shows that a company truly cares.

• Boosting profits for prize corporate hogs by strip-mining employee benefits and extorting an entire state generally should only be undertaken in odd-numbered years.

More making nice:

Speaking of the Lazy B: In an attempt to curb rampant quality-control problems, the company is offering bonuses for its South Carolina workers. Every 787 Dreamsmoker that leaves the line sort of looking like an airplane earns everyone a fashionable travel tote with an old “McDonnell Douglas” emblem scraped off.

Note to Customers: Don’t fret about any of this stuff. The problems with the Charleston planes are limited to the “mid-fuselage,” not some critical part.

Speaking of Sweaty Palms: Enlightened Clark County commissioners are mulling new rules that would allow county employees to carry concealed weapons. Just what you need is to go file an appeal of a property-tax assessment and have a clerk ask: “Feeling lucky, Punk?”

Not to Be Missed: The collective fan base of the Seattle Mariners celebrated the opening of spring training by ordering a round of hot-fudge sundaes in a booth at a Shari’s Restaurant in Renton.

Just Looking: A group of self-appointed Seattle sports officials will visit Vancouver, B.C., to learn about operations of the Vancouver Canucks. One stop will be Rogers Arena, where it might behoove Team Seattle to ask: “What is this ‘private financing’ thing of which you speak, and how do you make it work?”

The Week’s Stunning Possibility: All the national TV “critics” who lavish praise on NBC’s live Olympic “streaming,” aka trickling, have never actually attempted to use the service.

Small Dose of Reality: Nearly 2 million people rushed to sign an Internet petition demanding an investigation into the controversial scoring of the women’s figure skating final at the Sochi Winter Olympics. You can find the petition as a Wikipedia exhibit under the heading, “International Futile Gestures.”

Revenge Served Cold: Millions of Americans initially riled by the dual defeats of America’s men’s and women’s Olympic hockey teams by Canada swiftly found comfort in remembering that their nation would continue to insidiously poison its friendly northern neighbor’s culture with crappy American entertainment, deadly food products and contemptible business practices.

And Finally: Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Boeing, said he’s mulling a minimum-raise increase for state workers and contractors. Since they’re obviously central to the economy, why not just a big, fat tax break?

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at rjudd@seattletimes.com or 206-464-8280.



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