Boeing Production Problems and Unions

Yes, the two are related. This is from a Wall Street Journal article on Boeing’s production sloppiness (my term) in its airline assembly operations. “Traveled work” is work done on the production line at a later station on the line than it should have been done, and generally by the personnel at that later step rather than by those who should have done it moving to the next station to complete it. For instance,

…the plane [whose door had blown out on an Alaska Airlines flight] spent nearly three weeks shuffling down an assembly line with faulty rivets in need of repair.
Workers had spotted the bad parts almost immediately after the plane’s fuselage arrived at the factory. But they didn’t make the fix right away, and the 737 continued on to the next workstation. When crews completed the repair 19 days later….

Boeing’s fix [emphasis added]?

Boeing told staff it was changing how it determines pay for tens of thousands of nonunion employees—from mechanics in South Carolina to its top brass. Quality measures, such as reducing traveled work, will now determine 60% of the annual bonuses for those working on its commercial aircraft.

Boeing’s union employees apparently get to continue to skate. The move appears to single out Boeing’s right-to-work state employees for punishment while not addressing the problem itself.

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