Union wants F-35 job guarantees

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hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture
Union wants F-35 job guarantees

I'd rather this read "Union wants F-35 purchase plan scrapped", but it doesn't. This causes me some concern, given union-NDP ties. Where is the NDP on this? Shouldn't those billions go to high speed rail instead? There'd be jobs for workers there building trains and whatnot.

 

Union wants F-35 job guarantees

Unionist

Yeah, I agree, this is unfortunate.

The CAW is the biggest union in aerospace, and has already lost tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs since the 2008 crisis hit. Its position here, in defence of its members' jobs, is perfectly understandable - but the whole labour movement needs to be far more vocal in opposition to militarization of the economy and (as you say) in favour of projects like high-speed rail. That means not just the CAW, but all the unions.

 

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

@Unionist - absolutely. Somebody has to take the lead on demilitarization, and I don't think it'll be the government leading. Or business. 

Fidel

It's a good thing ol' Dief handed an entire aircraft industry and tens of thousands of jobs to the Yanks in the 1950s and bought some dud US missiles instead. Canadians might have been forced to make our own planes today.

Unionist

Diefenbaker destroyed Canada's best crack at being a big player in war planes. He followed that up by refusing JFK's demand to arm Bomarc missiles with nuclear warheads - which cost him his job as PM to Pearson, who swore he would fulfill Canada's "obligations" to NORAD.

We could use leadership like Diefenbaker's today. I'd settle for leadership like that in the union movement.

Fidel

Have you ever flown in a Boeing passenger plane? I see them all the time at the airport. No made in Canada Avro's though.

Ol' Dief said to 14,000 engineers and technicians that if they wanted to make planes, then they'd have to go do it for Uncle Sam! I think about 41,000 jobs in all were lost.

thorin_bane

God these selfish union workers what a bunch of assholes, why don't they stand on principles like the NDP...oh wait I was channeling unionist from his usual stance on the NDP not doing enough against the war. Just ribbing you. We all eat crow once in a while. I know the NDP has made me pick feathers from my teeth in the past.

But yeah they shouldn't be advocating building these planes. But I do understand what they are saying, "If we are going to HAVE to purchase them, then we should be building them." I don't agree with it, but I can see what they are saying.

Policywonk

Fidel wrote:

Have you ever flown in a Boeing passenger plane? I see them all the time at the airport. No made in Canada Avro's though.

Ol' Dief said to 14,000 engineers and technicians that if they wanted to make planes, then they'd have to go do it for Uncle Sam! I think about 41,000 jobs in all were lost.

Lots of Canadair Regional Jets and de Haviland Dash-8s though.

ilha formosa

Came across this link and tried to find a good place to post it.
http://www.electricpolitics.com/podcast/2010/05/the_f35_boondoggle.html

Quote:
May 21, 2010-A trillion dollar gold-plated warplane that can't do anything very well. But it looks slick. Brilliant! I'll have a dozen, please. If Mr. Obama and Mr. Gates were serious about containing Pentagon costs they'd cancel the F-35. If Congress were serious about budget deficits they'd stop funding it. If the public were serious about good government they'd toss out politicians who campaign for it. If the uniformed services were serious about professional standards they'd refuse it. And if mainstream journalists were serious about hewing to their responsibilities they'd report on it (to be fair, some do). An archetypal "teachable moment." What a mess! To talk about the F-35, here's Winslow Wheeler, one of the very few real experts on Pentagon procurement. Total runtime one hour. I protest!

NDPP

Canada Locked On to F-35 Jet, No Matter What The Cost: Analysis  -  by Matthew Fisher

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/canada-in-afghanistan/Canada+locked+mat...

"There is no chance that Canada will cancel its order for about 65 F-35 Joint Strike fighters. Originally designed to cost about $35 million per aircraft, because of cost overruns and delays, the F35 is now the most expensive weapon procurement program ever undertaken. Canada has estimated it will pay about $75 million for each of its new fighters...

But as happened with Canada's involvement in the war in Afghanistan and unproven allegations regarding the mistreatment of Taliban detainees, the F35 purchase has never become a significant issue for voters.."

CDN_FORCES

Fidel wrote:

Have you ever flown in a Boeing passenger plane? I see them all the time at the airport. No made in Canada Avro's though.

Ol' Dief said to 14,000 engineers and technicians that if they wanted to make planes, then they'd have to go do it for Uncle Sam! I think about 41,000 jobs in all were lost.

 

Boeing doesn't make planes anymore, they assemble them. That might sound non-sensical but it's the way all modern aircraft companies work. The major components are built all over the world then shipped to a factory in Washington State (or Kansas or Toulouse) where they're assembled and the completed aircraft is painted, test flown, and prepared for the customer.

Canada manufactures the engines, landing gear, leading edges, tires...the list goes on. If you were to combine all these Canadian components you could probably put together a complete airliner.

Here's how the Airbus A380 is assembled:

youtube.com/watch?v=mmDHJO3Iv30

 

 

Fidel

CDN_FORCES wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Have you ever flown in a Boeing passenger plane? I see them all the time at the airport. No made in Canada Avro's though.

Ol' Dief said to 14,000 engineers and technicians that if they wanted to make planes, then they'd have to go do it for Uncle Sam! I think about 41,000 jobs in all were lost.

 

Boeing doesn't make planes anymore, they assemble them. That might sound non-sensical but it's the way all modern aircraft companies work. The major components are built all over the world then shipped to a factory in Washington State (or Kansas or Toulouse) where they're assembled and the completed aircraft is painted, test flown, and prepared for the customer.

Canada manufactures the engines, landing gear, leading edges, tires...the list goes on. If you were to combine all these Canadian components you could probably put together a complete airliner.

Here's how the Airbus A380 is assembled:

youtube.com/watch?v=mmDHJO3Iv30

 

The point is that head offices and mangement jobs have been relocated to other countries and mainly the US. Taxes on profits tend to be avoided here and paid in other countries and mainly the U.S. One of the benefits of neoliberal ideology for the elite who owe allegiance to no country is that they are able to threaten governments more easily when the means of production is offshored to other countries, and our two oldest political parties think that's the way it should be - that absentee corporate landlords should wield more influence over the economy than democratically elected governments. That's not free markets or even democracy - it's fascism.

Thousands of spinoff jobs are relocated and mainly to wherever US head offices re-allocate them. Ontario, for instance, has lost somewhere greater than $6 billion dollars in wages that used to circulate within the provincial economy with the loss of hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the 2000s. And pain for Ontario in order to curb a bit of inflation/prosperity leaking out of Alberta. Their monetary policies are like using a sledgehammer to kill mosquitoes. The OECD recommended Flaherty create a sovereign wealth fund in order to curb speculation on the currency and oil. and even stop the hemorrhaging of manufacturing jobs. But our corrupt stooges were having none of it.

Service sector, low wage, part-time and seasonal jobs just can't replace that kind of money lost to other countries. 

And it is a neoliberal myth that offshoring of manufacturing is good for an economy. No rich country allows nearly as much foreign-ownership and control of its manufacturing or energy sectors as what Canada has. There is no evidence that becoming a branch plant economy, or lowering taxes on rich people and corporations leads to sustainable economic growth.

Contrary to the neoliberal shinola, manufacturing will always be an important economic sector for all developed rich countries. This business about making money with money is voodoo designed to fool people into thinking the right knows what they are doing when they don't. The U.S. and Europe are up the river without a paddle right now with allowing US and Euro corporations to sell to America while investing in and sending techno-innovation to China.

There is no evidence from imperialist history that colonial-extractive economies benefit in the long run. Our corrupt stooges were sold a bill of goods, and now Canadians  are paying for those deliberate mistakes. What power do the feds have after NAFTA to convince absentee corporate landlords to invest in Canada and create jobs here in a time of 'buy America'? They have very little except to entice them with a expanding corporate welfare programs. And that doesn't work, either. They've been had a long time ago on corporate welfare.

Our stooges have let taxpayer-funded innovation and technology slide off into the States before. Avro wasn't the first or last example. 

Where the military is, prices are high. - old Chinese proverb

When money arrives, all is green, bustle and abundance. And when it leaves, all is trampled down, barren, and bare. - older

genstrike

Actually, the Avro Jetliner, which was cancelled by C. D. Howe in favour of ramping up production for the CF-100, likely had a lot more potential for Canadian industry than the Arrow.  The Arrow wasn't the only big, heavy, long range interceptor which was cancelled around that time (see: XF-103, XF-108, the British interceptor program in the 50s), and the US and Britain, the two countries most likely to be exported to, both were more interested in domestic production.  It might have been able to serve the same role domestically as the CF-101 (an interceptor which had very little service of note outside Canada), but that's about it.

Now, contrast the Arrow to the Avro Jetliner, which was a very advanced aircraft for its time, served a role which was actually needed, actually did generate interest abroad and would have beat the Boeing 707 and Sud Caravelle into service by years.  But, Howe cancelled the program to force Avro to focus on production of military aircraft like the CF-100.

I think we need to confront the "myth of the Arrow" on the left, as it is the kind of thing which is used as justification for military Keynesianism and public investments in military hardware rather than healthcare and education.

Lord Palmerston

No kidding.  I remember the left-nationalist Robin Mathews refer to the "beautiful" Avro Arrow and lament its destruction.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

genstrike wrote:

I think we need to confront the "myth of the Arrow" on the left, as it is the kind of thing which is used as justification for military Keynesianism and public investments in military hardware rather than healthcare and education.

Agreed. Left-wing chauvinism = an infantile disorder.

Unionist

That sounds familiar...

 

Fidel

But militarized production could easily have been transformed into civilian. The point of the matter was that not only did the Diefentories ship thousands of jobs to the U.S., Canada lost engineering and scientific talent as well. They shipped what could have been an entire aircraft industry to the states. And some of those guys went on to design the F15 for the Americans

And the Diefenbachers paid way too much for a bunch of dud missiles from the U.S. Military industrial complex then. They were short range missiles that had they been armed with nuclear war heads, they were guaranteed to explode anywhere over Canada if launched. Old Dief had some real duds on his team then for sure. Political conservatives are notorious for wasting taxpayers money.

I thought this is an interesting web site. No idea if their specs on the Arrow vs F35 are accurate. The cost can't be adjusted for inflation? Sounds good tho...

canadianbullshit.com wrote:
Avro Arrow                             vs                         F35

designed and made in Canada                   designed and made in the USA

length 85 feet                                                length 50 feet

width 50 feet                                                  width 35 feet

two pilots                                                       one pilot

two engines                                                    one engine

1524 mph                                                      1200 mph

62,431 max wt pounds                                     60,000 max wt pounds

3.5 million cdn $ each                                      155 million USD each +

CDN_FORCES

Two very different aircraft for two separate roles. The Arrow was an interceptor; very fast but not very agile. The F35 is a fighter; slower but very manoeuverable.

The Arrow's cost hasn't been adjusted for inflation.

The F35 is designed in the USA and assembled from components from all over the world.

Fidel

But the F35 is a slowpoke, yes?  Other countries jets will blow the doors off them in the quarter mile and fly circles around them. I mean why have interceptors if everyone else can beat them to the lunch shack at the other end? I don't know about you, but I'm thinking the term intercept implies that that they are capable of it. Driving a slowpoke around town kind of defeats that purpose, yes?

Could this simply be another case of Washington instructing our corrupt stooges to buy American, Canada, or else they will stop shipping us made in USA toilet paper manufactured from British Columbia's old growth timber? Corporate welfare program?

And the single engine thing is a problem. If an engine flames out, or his slower'n molasses in January F35 is shot up somewhere over Rooshia or Cuba, there he is into the drink or barren moose pasture, godforsaken mountainous regions or whatever. Not ideal for either the pilot or the taxpayers footing exorbitant bills for the contraptions.

And who knows where the Avro engineers and brainiacs would be today with new designs. We could have been world beaters at plane building. Mulroney mightve avoided all that kick-back and graft in the airbus scandal and national embarrassment for all Canadians at the time. I find political conservatives embarrassing as hell for Canadians anyway, but I guess that's besides the point.

Fidel

genstrike wrote:

Actually, the Avro Jetliner, which was cancelled by C. D. Howe in favour of ramping up production for the CF-100, likely had a lot more potential for Canadian industry than the Arrow.  

The world's second jet passenger plane. Two weeks sooner and it would have been a world first.  Yes Canada's got talent and potential. We could compete with the best in the world. Kg for Kg, I think Canadians rate highly among the world's workers and innovators.

[url=[/url]">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avro_Canada_C102_Jetliner][img]http://uploa...

genstrike wrote:
I think we need to confront the "myth of the Arrow" on the left, as it is the kind of thing which is used as justification for military Keynesianism and public investments in military hardware rather than healthcare and education.
 

Okay but as you've mentioned, Avro wasn't just about the Arrow. 

ilha formosa

http://www.truth-out.org/f-35-fighter-latest-long-line-weapon-failures/1323887377

F-35 Fighter Is Latest in Long Line of Wasteful Weapon Failures

Thursday 15 December 2011
by: Dina Rasor, Truthout

Quote:
...a couple of minor facts slipped their minds. Nobody remembered that the jet had landed...with "peeling and bubbling" of coatings on the horizontal tails and damage to engine thermal panels. Or that the entire test force was subsequently limited to Mach 1.0...But selective amnesia is not even one of five "major consequence" problems that have already surfaced with the JSF and are disclosed by a top-level Pentagon review obtained by Ares. Those issues affect flight safety, the basic cockpit design, the carrier suitability of the F-35C and other aspects of the program have been identified and no fixes have been demonstrated yet. Three more "major consequence" problems are "likely" to emerge during tests, including high buffet loads and airframe fatigue.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

ilha formosa wrote:

Quote:
Three more "major consequence" problems are "likely" to emerge during tests, including high buffet loads and airframe fatigue.

And believe me, those high buffet loads are murder on the waistline. No wonder the airframes are fatiguing!

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

No matter how you slice this, this will be a disater. I guess Harper just wants to suck up to the Americans.

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:

ilha formosa wrote:

Quote:
Three more "major consequence" problems are "likely" to emerge during tests, including high buffet loads and airframe fatigue.

And believe me, those high buffet loads are murder on the waistline. No wonder the airframes are fatiguing!

This is M. Spector in holiday mode. I like it!

 

eastnoireast

the f35 takes on about 10 000 litres of fuel - that's 65 barrels. it smokes through that in a couple hours.
(18 000 lb fuel divided by 1.76 lb/litre = 10 227 litres)

not sure if it could make it to europe without in-air refueling. range is listed as 2-3000km, which i believe is one way (combat radius is listed as just under half of that).

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/f-35-specs.htm

didn't the cons at one point make a feeble attempt so say the f35 could also be used for search and rescue?  i think that was before the mackay-at-the-fishin'-lodge story got traction.

CDN_FORCES

eastnoireast wrote:

didn't the cons at one point make a feeble attempt so say the f35 could also be used for search and rescue?  i think that was before the mackay-at-the-fishin'-lodge story got traction.

Dedicated RCAF SAR aircraft are the CC115, CH149, CH146 and CC130. But every RCAF aircraft has a secondary SAR role, mostly to help locate a crash site or lost persons.

The only time a Canadian fighter was used in SAR resulted in a crash and the death of a pilot. It happened in the mid-90's when 2 CF18s were dispatched to electronically located an ELT on the west coast. One of the planes got too low and ran into the side of a hill killing the pilot instantly.

So it's not really false to state that the F35 could be used in SAR, but it would be very unlikely. They're too fast and too expensive to use that way.

 

eastnoireast

CDN_FORCES wrote:

eastnoireast wrote:

didn't the cons at one point make a feeble attempt so say the f35 could also be used for search and rescue?  i think that was before the mackay-at-the-fishin'-lodge story got traction.

Dedicated RCAF SAR aircraft are the CC115, CH149, CH146 and CC130. But every RCAF aircraft has a secondary SAR role, mostly to help locate a crash site or lost persons.

The only time a Canadian fighter was used in SAR resulted in a crash and the death of a pilot. It happened in the mid-90's when 2 CF18s were dispatched to electronically located an ELT on the west coast. One of the planes got too low and ran into the side of a hill killing the pilot instantly.

So it's not really false to state that the F35 could be used in SAR, but it would be very unlikely. They're too fast and too expensive to use that way.

 

if the f35's potential use as a search aircraft was being floated as a reason to cram them down our throats, er, buy the damn things, given the history, i think "false" is actually a pretty good description, hair-splitting aside.

especially once one thinks about how much sar capabilities canada could actually purchase in lieu of these war machines/money pits. not to mention other pressing needs.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

eastnoireast wrote:
 especially once one thinks about how much sar capabilities canada could actually purchase in lieu of these war machines/money pits. not to mention other pressing needs.

Excellent post.

CDN_FORCES

eastnoireast wrote:
 especially once one thinks about how much sar capabilities canada could actually purchase in lieu of these war machines/money pits. not to mention other pressing needs.

Exactly. The F35 costs so much because it has all these first-strike capabilities we'll never use, unless someone is planning a war where Canada goes in alone against a superior air defense network, say Iran or Syria. If we're part of a coalition (and it's 99.999% that we would be) countries with that sort of capability would do that job. In Libya it was the USAF and USN that took out the air defense networks by using Tomahawk missiles and UAVs; after that any sort of aircraft could operate with relative freedom.

So. From my vantage point Canada doesn't need the F35, which is years away from delivery and has a huge number of design flaws and limitations. The F18F, Rafale, or Eurofighter are available now and cost way less.

As for new SAR planes we could buy a fleet of new fixed-wing aircraft (say 16 aircraft similar to a CASA or C27) for about 3 billion. That would be money well spent.

Mrpotato

You people amuse me tremendously! Demilitarization? Really? We should get rid of our armed forces? Wow its time for a lot of you to realize there are bad people out there and those bad people want to take away what you have here at home, we can't rely on others to "provide" us safety and peace. As a first world nation we have the obligation to have an Army, to go and defend those who need it at home and abroad.

On the subject of this post, by decentralizing the knowledge/work from the armed forces Avionics Technician to give more "contracts" to outside civilian industries, you loose every deployable capacity you just had, you now need those guys who get paid up the *ss to follow the planes wherever they go so they can fix them, which is truely BS. You just took an easy operation and transformed it into a nightmare.

For those of you who still don't think we need the armed forces well ask your Lybian friends if Twitter or Facebook is responsible for taking down the regime, the answer is simply no. They had the support from various armies from around the world who created a coalition to help the movement.

Ripple

"Clean up in aisle 4!"

Fidel

Oh yeah rrrright, I think monsieur potato is referring to "the coalition."  Real good guys they are.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Dang! Someone beat me to making a good mash out of Mr. P. Anyway, he's-a-gone.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Perhaps when you return from vacation you could explain the ideological difference between Mrpotato and CDN_FORCES, such that one is more worth banning than the other.

Or are we banning people now purely on the basis of writing style?

Polunatic2

Stop the gravy plane...

"One source stop" for all news related to reasons NOT to buy the F-35. 

CDN_FORCES

M. Spector wrote:

Perhaps when you return from vacation you could explain the ideological difference between Mrpotato and CDN_FORCES, such that one is more worth banning than the other.

Or are we banning people now purely on the basis of writing style?

 

The difference is that I'm not here to hector or troll, or to try to persuade people that their beliefs are wrong. I will discuss military policy and rationale, and, provided the information isn't classified, its actions. That't it.

On a related note, I've been respectful of everyone here, and for the most part it's been returned. You're a notable exception, what with calling me a Nazi and all.

ilha formosa

What to make of this...

Defender of the Capitalist System: Department of Defense Worst in Competitive Contracts
26 January 2012, by: Dina Rasor, Truthout | News Analysis

Quote:
dollars flowing into single-bid contracts have almost tripled since the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Nor has that trend been reversed since the 2009 Obama administration memo on competition;Defense Department dollars flowing into noncompetitive procurements continue to grow.

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

...

autoworker autoworker's picture

If union members refused to work on anythIng related to this contract, would the union support them as a matter of conscience? Could language be written into contracts that would allow workers to refuse such work?

kropotkin1951

autoworker wrote:

If union members refused to work on anythIng related to this contract, would the union support them as a matter of conscience? Could language be written into contracts that would allow workers to refuse such work?

You claim to be a CAW member so don't you know that you already have whole bargaining units devoted to the production of hardware for the imperial army and its allies.

Here is link to CAW Local 27, Unit 66 where some of your brothers and sisters are proud of their products.

autoworker autoworker's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

autoworker wrote:

If union members refused to work on anythIng related to this contract, would the union support them as a matter of conscience? Could language be written into contracts that would allow workers to refuse such work?

You claim to be a CAW member so don't you know that you already have whole bargaining units devoted to the production of hardware for the imperial army and its allies.

Here is link to CAW Local 27, Unit 66 where some of your brothers and sisters are proud of their products.

I don't work in the aerospace industry (it's hard enough to keep up with the automotive sector), but thanks all the same for the info. My concern about the F-35 is mostly about Canada's putative need for a strike capability, although all such weapons platforms provide an offensive capability, I suppose (I'm not a defence strategist). Given my union's impending merger with the CEP, I trust that you'll help keep me abreast of additional dissonant, moral conflicts inherent within this imminently new, and expanded configuration.

kropotkin1951

Did you bother even opening up the link?  They make light armored vehicles for attacking protestors.  You asked the question about the CAW approach to being a worker of conscience.  Given the pride in which this CAW Local takes in its work I suspect the answer is, "the work is here, if you don't want a job that is a courageous stand now get out of the way my cousin is trying to get to the HR office."

autoworker autoworker's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Did you bother even opening up the link?  They make light armored vehicles for attacking protestors.  You asked the question about the CAW approach to being a worker of conscience.  Given the pride in which this CAW Local takes in its work I suspect the answer is, "the work is here, if you don't want a job that is a courageous stand now get out of the way my cousin is trying to get to the HR office."

Okay, I should have said that I don't work in the defence industry. I was thinking passenger vehicles and light trucks (minivans), but your point is well taken, and probably close to the mark. So, what is an individual conscience to do?