CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Aircraft manufacturer Boeing is responding to employees claiming the North Charleston, South Carolina plant has “shoddy production” and “weak oversight.”
In an article by the New York Times, they say they have reviewed hundreds of pages of internal emails and corporate documents, as well as interviewed more than a dozen current and past employees that all say, “Boeing pushed its workforce to quickly turn out Dreamliners, at times ignoring issues raised by employees.”
The North Charleston plant manufacturers the Dreamliner 787 planes. The company is currently dealing with the aftermath of two deadly crashes of its 737 max planes. New York Times posted an article Sunday saying there is no evidence that parts from the plant have led to any safety incidents.
Brad Zaback, a site leader at the plant and general manager of the 787 programs, sent a message out to all Boeing employees that said the Times’ report, “Paints a skewed and inaccurate picture of the program and of our team here at Boeing South Carolina. This article features distorted information, rehashing old stories and rumors that have long ago been put to rest,” Zaback said.
The statement says the Boeing invited the Times to the North Charleston plant and the times declined the invitation.
Zaback goes on to say, “The allegations of poor quality are especially offensive to me because I know the pride in workmanship that each of you pours into your work every day. I see the highest quality airplanes – airplanes that meet rigorous quality inspections and FAA standards – deliver on time on a regular basis from Boeing South Carolina, where they perform exceptionally well in service for our valued airplane customers around the world.”
The article states that Joseph Clayton, a technician at the North Charleston plant, routinely found debris dangerously close to the wiring beneath cockpits.
“I’ve told my wife that I never plan to fly on it,” Clayton said. “It’s just a safety issue.”
WCBD spoke exclusively with a technician for Boeing South Carolina who says that he has seen with his own eyes the company compromise people’s safety while building the 787 Dreamliner.
Wanting to remain anonymous, the technician says he wouldn’t let his own family fly on a plane he helps build with his own hands.
He says, “I’ve asked all my family not to fly on the 787. I feel that they can do better”
This is because of several safety issues he’s witnessed firsthand in the production of the 787 Dreamliner.
He says, “We’ve seen pieces of bolts and metal shavings, things like that in areas that were close to major wiring.”
Saying he’s routinely found debris dangerously close to the wiring beneath cockpits…
He says, “Very dangerous if something were to fall on the wires and it arcs or shorts out you can lose certain systems involved in the aircraft’s operation.”
One day while inspecting a plane being prepared for delivery, he says he found chewing gum holding together a part of the door’s trim.
He says, “at first we thought it was some kind of goop or glue, but it was actually minty and that’s how we figured out it was chewing gum.”
It’s safety issues like this that have him speaking out against Boeing.
He says, “I’ve always wanted Boeing to do better.”