Thursday, December 10, 2009

More on the Oshkosh Corp./BAE Feud

Man, this thing just keeps going ... it's now moved on from the regional and trade press to the august (web)pages of Politico, where I can't help but get the feeling that OC gets the short shrift from the article and others like it.

Left unsaid if the fact that the Texas Congressional delegation is really fighting a fight that they have already lost. SECDEF Gates' trip to Oshkosh to praise workers was a pretty strong indication that the Pentagon is happy with the new MATVs. Also omitted: Oshkosh Corp. has been ahead of schedule in delivering the vehicles -- for the fifth month in a row -- which seems to answer one of the principle questions raised by the Texans.

Let's face it: this is about saving face and appearing to fight for jobs. I can't blame congressmen from a district which just lost lucrative defense contracts for doing everything they can to keep those jobs and don't expect them to give up the fight until the last truck of the contract rolls off the assembly line, but at some point empty gestures like these appear unfair to the folks who lost their jobs and are holding out hope that they might get them back or to the workers who now worry about potentially losing their own jobs. In the grand scheme of things those are probably small factors in a larger political calculus, but it might behoove a news service to help determine just where that line is.

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