The techs could absolutely shut down commercial airplane production if they chose to go on strike. Let's start with the fabrication centers for for major components of the airplanes (Portland, Auburn, Frederickson). Those sites are heavily run by techs. Calibration and metrology of the various tools must be performed by individuals certified for those tasks. Those are techs. MRSA Planners (virtually all of them Techs) – When an NCR needs disposition, who writes the rework plans? Manufacturing Engineering Planners (virtually all of them Techs) – When a drawing needs to be released, who signs the M-note? When a drawing does get released, who creates the CAPP plans or the IP? Industrial Engineering (Virtually all of them Techs) – When an installation plan needs to be completed or an assembly needs to be fabricated, who schedules the job in the shop? Change Board (Virtually all of them Techs) - When a Rapid Revision or a mandatory/urgent PRR needs to be scheduled, to catch an airplane out on the field, who makes it happen? Service Bulletin Engineering (Many of them Techs) – When one of our customers has an airplane grounded or about to be grounded because of an Airworthiness Directive, who performs the mechanics of sending the Service Bulletin out to the customer?
The issue isn't the number of people, it's their relative importance at key junctures of the production system. Boeing's commercial airplane production is utterly dependent upon the techs.
The goal now is to survey the techs and find out what would get the group to vote yes on a contract offer....and then go to the table to try and achieve that.
SPEEA / IFPTE Local 2001