Combat Zone

Boeing uses the BLP to Solve their Crashing Crisis 

A Boeing 737 MAX 9 built by University of Puget Sound BLP students. Would you get on board? Photo Credit: KirkXWB, Wikimedia Commons. Used under CC BY-SA 4.0 Deed

By Emmet O’Connor

  Students in the Business Leadership Program (BLP) were called in to work at Boeing to help sort out the recent problems the airplane monopoly has run into regarding the past year’s lapse in quality control of their planes revealed by a whistleblower who died under mysterious circumstances.

  Within the past couple of years, the Washington-based airplane manufacturer has experienced a multitude of failures with their airplanes despite holding a monopoly in the American market. Boeing’s market dominance as the sole manufacturer of airplanes gives it a privileged position and the market solutions used to raise Boeing to this position are the same market solutions taught in BLP courses. This of course comes at a cost; Boeing has lost its ability to produce planes that have doors that don’t pop off mid-flight. The lackluster engineering in Boeing planes is a direct result of their moving away from investing in top-of-the-line engineers and instead using the market to determine the company’s future course of action. Namely, Puget Sound students.

  Boeing gives a substantial amount of money to the BLP, which has the airplane manufacturer listed as one of their internship options. This troubling time for Boeing has led to them taking students out of the BLP and placing them through the  Boeing University Trade Treaty (BUTT). The process by which these students were chosen for the BUTT was completely random as nobody wanted to do the statistics that were required to select a group of students.

  BUTT allows BLP students to experience firsthand what it is like to work in a major U.S. industry monopoly (which they achieved through military contracting). It also serves Boeing, since they are saved from the cost that comes with hiring expensive engineering students from Ivy League schools. We got in contact with one BLP student who had been through the BUTT who claimed that “We don’t know what we’re doing,” and that they didn’t “even know how planes fly.” The students working at Boeing thanks to the BUTT were taught a liberal arts understanding of economics, but they weren’t taught how to make planes that land in one piece.

  Wages are a large problem for student workers at Boeing since those wages hover around $0 an hour, with students being told they are having an “introduction into the real world of economics” and that “they are getting paid in experience.” Some of the students have accepted this payment, claiming that they are networking on the assembly line. Others have taken to trying to organize a union. One of these organizers was an art history major but switched over to the BLP. after they mixed up Ionic and Doric columns and failed their final. The student argues that wages of “experience” cannot be used to pay for their share of the rent and utilities at their quaint four-bedroom house just off campus.

  Boeing has refused to comment on the situation of payment for their University of Puget Sound student workforce, but they have used their extensive arsenal of drones that they build for the U.S. military to monitor me.