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'I never plan to fly on it': Boeing workers blow whistle on 787 plant

When Boeing broke ground on its new factory near Charleston in 2009, the plant was trumpeted as a state-of-the-art manufacturing hub, building one of the most advanced aircraft in the world. But ( Plus d'info...

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siriusloon 2
One day, someone will be able to look back and pinpoint exactly when "If it's not Boeing, I'm not going" became "WTF happened at Boeing?" They have problems all the way from the shop floor to the executive suites. Not everybody at each level, but every level needs a big change in its culture and how it's failing far too often in recent years.

Check back here in no more than ten years to see if this came true: I think Boeing will be sold or merged if they can't find some really good people to take over and fix things because they simply cannot continue the way they've been doing things.
Ricky Scott 1
It started when Mcdonald-Douglas bought Boeing with Boeing's money and infiltrated all the employees from them to Boeing. It included their failed practices, which they believed they could do it right eventually.
I really don't get it... this article really seemed to focus on the "debris" left in the bowels of the aircraft. I understand why that is a safety issue, but Boeing employees keep pointing this out. Aren't they the ones responsible for cleaning that stuff up? And then they blow the whistle on management for it? And then the article goes on to say how Boeing chose CHS for there plant because it had low union representation. I am sure that's true, but it does make me feel like the author of this is just trying to paint Boeing in a bad light, rather than give us the facts. Am I wrong here?
Robert Cowling 7
What I read are articles quoting present, or retired inspectors. But yes, other employees can, and do rat out the process, a lot.

But true or not, the fact that the DOD was refusing to accept planes from Boeing, and that so many inspectors are coming forward, shows that there are fundamental problems as Boeing. Some could be worker dislike of the working conditions, and unions or not, a union would have a hard time fixing the kind of issues that Boeing seems to be lumbering under. Perhaps the 787 will crash and the cause will be found to be shards of metal, or a tool left in a place where it migrates to an electrical panel, or some other sensitive area.

Boeing has been decidedly more and more antiunion, and that can really piss of workers who already feel the heavy hand of the top heavy management breathing down their necks. I worked at a union job as one of my first jobs out of high school, so I am the last one to defend unions, but a strong union, and strong management that backs their employees goes a hell of a long way to job satisfaction, and an incredible product than strong handed management trying to kill the unions and devalue the workers.

So, when will this change? it's part of a much larger picture. There is a ruthless drive for profit, and to feed the investor class that has swept the country. Someone said that the minute the ink dried on the Bush II tax cut that slashed the capital gains tax rate, they effectively declared open season on unions, and employees in general. And what we have seen is companies slashing their workforce and their stock rising. Prior to that, the stock would be sinking. Part of the reason why the bike company Schwinn folded was because management devoted so much time to killing their unions, they missed the changes in their industry and market.

Boeing is a huge corporation, they have tried a lot of creative means to screw their workers and still extract massive profits. I'm sure their friends in government will bail them out yet again. And the American worker, unable to learn from past mistakes, will continue to flounder and suffer...
siriusloon 1
Maybe they know about it from internal memos and reports rather than being the ones who left it there and did nothing?
sharon bias 2
Unions or no unions, there is a corporate culture that doesn't respect employee's for coming forward with problems. It seems to be at all employment levels within the company. Every single business in the world will have a problem at some point. It's how you handle them that separates the great businesses from mediocre. Boeing is now below mediocre. It's killing people. When stuff like this happens in the military, they do a stand-down. Time for Boeing to do a stand-down and take a good hard look at itself.
Eric Schmaltz 1
Why is this a big news story now? I saw a documentary years ago on the 787 and its "shoddy" workmanship. Yet I see them fly over my house every day. Apparently someone over at Boeing knows what their doing. There's 148 of 'em in the air right now.
I haven't heard complaints about the build quality of the planes built in Washington state. Could Union labor be better than non-union labor?
Dean Brossman 3
Check on the Air Force issues with the B767 Tanker (KC-46). They manufacture that one in Washington and are having the same problem.
siriusloon 1
The USAF has refused further deliveries TWICE of KC-46As because of debris left inside. It ranged from tools and garbage to metal dust and shavings.
linbb 1
Knew people in Seattle years back that worked on the line and talked about problems not many but yes there were some. One that I was told about involved an AC at Renton where they had to take up some flooring due to things not being cleaned up before it was put down.
Roy Hunte 2
The problem seems to stem from careless employees...
George Cottay 1
Roy, any complex process produces errors. You need not jump to a conclusion about the workers.
siriusloon 0
And equally careless supervisors and equally careless inspectors and equally careless managers...all the way to the top.
siriusloon 1
That was before delivery, though, wasn't it? It's better to find and fix it then than after the customer raises hell and refuses to accept more aircraft.
dnorthern 0
So these fools sat back, cashed their Boeing checks and said nothing? They were a chief cause of the problem.
George Cottay 0
The report indicates workers reported problems which were then ignored. Some workers were even punished.
linbb -6
Seems there is more to this than is written if they are stupid enough to no do there job right then down the road they go. Its a right to work state I think so they can be let go for no reason. I have seen nothing other than this post to indicate problems. Am thinking since they voted the union down more than once I think its probably coming from those pushing the union or from the west coast people.
siriusloon 2
For starters, it's not that there's "nothing other than this post", there's a New York Times article.

I also wonder why you think aviation safety is less important than pushing your anti-union agenda?
Roy Hunte 0
This sounds like a lucid conclusion. Unions, when crossed tend to try to muddy the waters.....

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