Union chief questions latest Boeing move
Only one part of a statement issued by Boeing on Monday makes any sense, District 751 President Tom Wroblewski said, and that’s “Boeing’s recognition of the superior quality of the products and services provided by our members in the Interiors Responsibility Center in Everett.”
Otherwise, Boeing’s announcement of plans to build a new facility in South Carolina where it will build 787 interiors components makes no sense at all, the Machinists Union leader said in a statement posted to the union’s Web site, and distributed to stewards.
“What is the motivation behind duplicating production lines and awarding work to an unbuilt and unproven facility when you publicly acknowledge the superior product, efficiencies and skills we currently provide here?” Wroblewski wrote. “It is yet another Boeing business decision that doesn’t make sense.”
Boeing management on Monday praised “the superior quality of the products and services provided by our Interiors Responsibility Center in Everett.” Machinists there build in-cabin components like stow bins, closets and overhead rest areas for flight crews and flight attendents, supplying them to all Boeing widebody jets, including the 787.
But instead of turning to the proven pros to provide the parts it will need to build up to three 787s a month in Charleston, Boeing instead has decided to spend tens of millions of dollars to construct a building, buy tooling and train from scratch up to 150 people to staff the new site.
“For three airplanes a month,” Wroblewski asked, “how could it ever make business sense to attempt to duplicate not just the facilities — which require huge capital investments — but also the skills and efficiencies our members demonstrate every day?”
Wroblewski also noted that Monday’s announcement did little more than repeat Boeing’s announcement in December that it plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in Charleston to duplicate its Puget Sound facilities.
Since there was no information in the Monday press statement, the union leader speculated that it was merely a calculated effort to draw attention away from last week’s bad-for-Boeing 787 headlines. Boeing executives last week acknowledged that they’re having to suspend shipments of 787 sections to Everett for about a month, to give suppliers a chance to catch up.
“Ask Boeing, who is responsible for this latest slide?” Wroblewski wrote. “I guarantee it is not our members here in Puget Sound. (Instead) it is those same suppliers and vendors who have made the plane more than 2 1/2 years late already.”
Become a fan of IAM 751 on Facebook.