Two months ago, this website published an exclusive report detailing problems at aircraft manufacturer Boeing’s North Charleston, S.C. facility.
“Boeing’s South Carolina Dreamliner assembly plant is struggling to keep up with its already delayed production quotas,” we reported – citing multiple sources at the heavily taxpayer-subsidized facility. We also reported that Boeing was dealing with a “competency gap” at its North Charleston facility – with the company “unable to find qualified South Carolina workers to serve in key engineering positions.”
This week reporter Phil LeBeau – who covers automotive and aerospace issues for CNBC – referenced some of these issues in a segment for his network on Boeing’s upcoming 777X line.
Asked about problems with the 787 Dreamliners being built in North Charleston, Lebeau confirmed “they’re not coming off the assembly line in Charleston as quickly” as Boeing hoped, and that South Carolina-made Dreamliners were not “being built as (Boeing) would prefer them to be.”
“That’s the problem that Boeing has with its Charleston facility,” LeBeau said, adding that production at the facility hasn’t “gone as well as (Boeing) expected.”
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley and other status quo-supporting South Carolina politicians have bet big on Boeing and its Dreamliner – which continues to experience all sorts of problems in the wake of its global grounding earlier this year.
Originally scheduled for delivery in May of 2008, numerous design, supply and delivery problems pushed Dreamliner’s deadline back more than three years – causing numerous cancellations.
South Carolina workers??? Pffft!!! … With the high unemployment rate across the nation, hasn’t ANYONE figured it out that people are moving to SC for jobs????
Who in their right mind is moving to SC for jobs that don’t exist?
Maybe that “Christian Exodus” group?? Oh sorry – you said “in their right mind” so that certainly leaves those folks out . . .
One would think that it requires EXPERIENCED personnel to build an airplane on a schedule.
Exactly who do you think is going to tell the truth about this affair? Haley? Commerce Department? Boeing?
I don’t have a dog in this hunt but I do not the truth is not in any of them.
Haley, has the answer for everything, as do the republicans.
I have a family member who works at BSC. His take on what’s happening there is that many of the most talented techs have left or are planning to leave. There are 3 lines at BSC and only the flight line is functioning properly. BSC puts its best workers on the flight line and these workers often have to fix problems that come up on the other 2 lines. The pressure on these top-tier workers is unrelenting, but they are not paid any more than the slack workers they are propping up. Imagine if a white-collar professional was part of an elite group that was propping up a multi-billion dollar project. Such an employee could probably name his own salary, but it’s not so if you are a blue-collar tech doing the same thing at BSC. Many of these techs have decided they can make more somewhere else and be under half the pressure.
Also, another bit of inside info is that in December there was a major screw-up on one of the lines that practically destroyed a 787 fuselage section. BSC had to radically reorder their production schedule because BSC workers had to put in a ton of overtime to fix the mistake.
Most of the people that I know that went to work there have quit. They were all very excited at first over the above average pay, benefits, and plenty of overtime. But, 12 hour workdays, with only 1 or 2 days off a month gets old rather quickly. Boeing has 2 shifts that work 12 hour days, instead of 3 shifts that work 8 hour days on the line. This reduces the number of employees collecting benefits by 33%. I doubt their union employees out west work the same schedules, so it is hard to compare production from plant to plant.
Yeh those damn Unions!
Once the Right has destroyed the labor movement, we will all be at the mercy of corporate titans than require us to work long hours, work holidays and be fired without cause.
The labor movement is doing an excellent job destroying itself. The thing about jobs is that no one forces anyone to take one. We are all free to say no to long hours and the other hardships demanded by owners.
In his world he has no choices other than government forcing his ideals upon everyone else.
No dumbass, The role of government is to be the referee between capitalism and it’s excesses. Provide a safety net for the disadvantaged, safeguard the environment, safeguard against unsafe working conditions, ensure a level playing field in the market (including NOT playing favorites), provide those things which are not profitable but required (like law enforcement, courts, parks, etc.).
It is too complex a concept for a teapublican/libertarian though.
I’ve shortened it to Teanutarian.
Parks are necessary?
Is government succeeding in “safeguarding the environment”?
Is it succeeding in “leveling the playing field in the market”?
Everything item you named is your ideal, and in being an ideal it is pure fantasy when it has been tried in application to the real world. In the attempt to live out this fantasy, your ideal requires the theft of money from people.
Look upon your works Ozymandias.
Regardless, your whining about not being at the mercy of some corporate power shows how little value you must bring to productive society. Unless of course, you work for a government, in which case you actually detract from society.
That worked real well in the 1880’s thru 1910’s didn’t it. If workers are not organized and can simply be pitted against each other, the owner has the upper hand.
There have been excesses by labor but don’t doubt that if they go away that the ‘guiled age’ won’t return. Businesses can collude and pay off politicians to maintain their upper hand just as they did then. That is already happening.
“That worked real well in the 1880’s thru 1910’s didn’t it.”
Yes, and we know those times when the world was still industrializing on a more massive scale are especially relevant today.
“Businesses can collude and pay off politicians to maintain their upper hand just as they did then.”
True, but is the problem the businesses or politicians? If you look at markets that are more unregulated, like TV’s and cell phones, you see the price constantly dropping and the quality improving. Big business is forced to compete brutally with each other and the pols aren’t involved, for the benefit of everyone.
Mind you, I’m not against labor unions, I just think they should fight their fight without government assistance.
If you undercut the source of power, which is the government, business HAS to compete without favors/power-period.
How does the Information age differ from the Industrial age in terms of greed?
Business and Politicians dance together on htis topic.
So you admit that the politicians use their power to enable big business to control our lives?
If that’s the case, you and I have no quarrel.
Nikki did a great job on history. Crap, her daughter makes more than you !
And, study after study has shown 12 hour shifts are bad for productivity and safety.
Boeing would never have come here if it had not been confident it could abuse the workers and get away with it.
Did you know SC has a law, one I could not find but the NLRB says exists, that give employers options in how they pay overtime for salaried workers? If Boeing is paying those guys time and a half as hourly paid workers, then the workers are being compensated for 12 hour shifts. If they are salaried workers, in SC, employers have the option to pay overtime as straight time, time and a half, or half time colloquially called Chinese Overtime. Our General Assembly can fastrack through a bill that forces overtime for salaried employees as time and a half period. Right to work is not right to fuck someone’s overtime. Get the GA to change the law. And as far as your study, it is bull shit.
I used to work for Coca-Cola Consolidated, which is the major Coca-Cola bottler in South Carolina. We were paid flexible workweek overtime, which is what you call “Chinese Overtime.” Long story short, it was horrible. I’d frequently put in 55 hours a week and my overtime would work out to $7 an hour. The more hours I worked, the less I was paid per hour. Management would constantly nitpick and tell us to do things over. They would give us a workload that couldn’t be done in less that 15 hours a day. They’d call useless meetings that lasted for hours. If I said I needed to get home to my family, they’d act like I was selfish. Needless to say, I moved on.
Also, “Chinese overtime” is legal in certain industries in every state except California. Ronald Reagan’s Labor Department made it so. I kid you not: back then a company went to the Labor Department and said that time-and-a-half overtime means the company should pay for overtime hours at “half” the normal hourly pay. Reagan’;s Labor Dept. said yes, you’re right! That’s how it ought to work!
agreed, and $7.00 dollars per hour plus 0,
Boeing’s struggles exemplifies what we all have known for decades. School administers and teachers are more interested in getting vested into the SC Retirement Taxpayer Subsidized System pension plan than they are in developing real world curriculums, developing real world skill sets, and matriculating an educated workforce. Same goes to state legislators for their “protect the state pension plan laws above any other meaningful legislation” first mentality and county councils who simply raise taxes and offer no oversight of their school district’s “expenditure to skilled graduate” ratios.
Counties can’t fund school operations through taxes, see Act 388. Funding for operations comes from the state.
Counties have oversight over their school districts.
you missed my point…neither the county councils nor the local school boards can fund school operations through local taxes. Act 388 shifted school operations to a statewide sales tax. In other words, the local pols cannot raise property taxes to pay teacher salaries, hire more teachers or anything that has to do with operations
What part of “That is right since the Local Government Fiscal Authority Act of 1997 and subsequent court rulings despite the Home Rule Act of 1975” did you not understand? See Crow v. McAlpine
Every public schools is located within a school district, community, county, and the state; all political subdivisions. It all starts at the ballot box.
I am beginning to see that. I am reading this:
After Midnight Screams …
Anyone hear the howling out of the state capital at about 1:30 am ? It was soon after the Boeing machinists in Washington state voted on the contract to work on the 777x plane. One that our governor wanted.
Read it on the Seattle Times FB site first. Then came the shrill …
Haley is probably relieved. SC did not meet the stated minimum site requirements anyway. Better to lose to Washington than a different state that didn’t have the advantages only Washington had.
““unable to find qualified South Carolina workers to serve in key engineering positions.”
That isn’t just a Boeing problem, it’s a growing national problem in all segments of manufacturing.
Years of distorted capital structure via money printing has made it more lucrative for the last 20 years to go into banking, insurance, law, etc. so that we have a good 20 year gap in high end manufacturing skills.
Why would Mom & Dad recommend to little Johnny that he go to school to become an engineer when he can get a business administration degree and/or finance and come out making big bucks for not a lot of work?
Viva Central (currency) Planning in all aspects! Our masters know what is best and they can manage everything!
1. Company bemoans paying taxes that support world
class university system that provides them with skilled workers
2. Company moves to low tax state with poor
3. Company complains there are a lack of skilled
And to think that Ford, GM, Boeing, Hughes, etc. all developed advanced technology in their day without this “world class university” system you speak of and without high taxes.
1. Taxes used to be much higher than they are today.
2. What you think they did not rely on University research?
Not when the companies I mentioned above started. In fact, no income tax prior to 1913.
You mean they did okay when they did not need skilled workers?
No, I mean that the skill was developed in house by the companies themselves when they had more free cash to do it and men started working to learn trades at a much earlier age. (like apprenticeships)
Hard to have free cash when you give all your money to Wall Street huh?
Going back to the original argument, all those company’s you have listed came from places with well established education systems. Which just further proves my point, that low tax, low education locations are a terrible place to find qualified workers.
You see these companies doing it all the time these days, they run off to a low wage, low tax, low education state, and low and behold they all of a sudden have a shortage of skilled workers.
World class university system translates to world class primary education system in the timeframe you have chosen.
“Hard to have free cash when you give all your money to Wall Street huh?”
This is a statement I don’t understand. How is Boeing for example giving it’s money to Wall Street?
While I agree that Wall Street, via the TBTF’s, is getting bailed out by the government, which takes our taxes to do so, I don’t understand how it relates to the above statement.
“all those company’s you have listed came from places with well established education systems.”
You and I disagree there.
“they run off to a low wage, low tax, low education state, and low and
behold they all of a sudden have a shortage of skilled workers.”
While no one can know for sure all the issues within the SC Boeing facility, I wouldn’t be so quick to blame the assembly line workers.(or “low skilled”) They are the same caliber of people that produced Model T’s off the Ford line.
The assembly line workers success/failure is directly related to the engineers and management(some of which should be engineers). My point is simply that there is a dearth of quality engineers in most level of manufacturing in the US today. I attribute it not to the lack of education, but instead a distortion of capital markets that drive smart people into fields like banking because it makes sense in the short term due to what they can make there as opposed to Boeing. Going further though, I am also pointing out that most manufacturers used to pull internally and groom employees for long term success with a variety of apprenticeship type programs at all levels.
So in short, I don’t think “education”, as run by any state, is the issue. It is far more complex.
Giving money to Wall Street refers to stock buy backs and dividend pay outs.
I somewhat agree with your misallocation of skills argument, but again, if you are looking for a skilled worker to train, how could you possibly argue that it’s better to start with one that comes from a place where most are uneducated versus one that comes from a place with a world class education system?
“how could you possibly argue that it’s better to start with one that
comes from a place where most are uneducated versus one that comes from a
place with a world class education system”
I’m not arguing “uneducated” versus “educated”, I’m arguing that a company that deploys cash to educate its workers in house has a large advantage and better employees then it would get from external(like university) sources.
“Giving money to Wall Street refers to stock buy backs and dividend pay outs.”
Dividends are simply a must if a company hopes to attract investors. As for the stock buy backs, I believe the “system” is driving that, ie. tax consequences.
“I’m not arguing “uneducated” versus “educated”, I’m arguing that a company that deploys cash to educate its workers in house has a large advantage and better employees then it would get from external(like university) sources.”
But what baseline employee are you starting with? Can they read? Can they do higher math? Do they have a certain amount of mechanical aptitude? If so, where did they obtain these skills before they came to you?
How they obtain them is up for debate, I’m speaking specifically to John’s point about the role of education in the development of industry. It is quite clear industry developed on its own without such state run systems, before they were in place.
You are out of your mind. Before there were state schools and education systems 7 year olds were working in factories instead of going to school. Children of mill workers were offered no education other than what they needed to know to take over daddy’s job when he became to old or to sick to work (about age 60). The average American had no hope of doing anything other than what his father did.
Don’t forget the “company money’ and the “company store”.
Even though this was out-lawed in the early ’30s, I saw it myself in Clinton in 1961.
I have been told that the textile companies were still using company money in the late 40’s in Aiken County.
Look, regardless of who/what is doing the educating the days of people living their whole lives in subservience to mills(or whatever large corporation) are long gone. Their is simply too much opportunity out there for ENTERPRISING people(there will always be the lazy, to which I’m not referring) to be locked in to such an environment. Not to mention the ease by which people can physically move now as opposed to 50+ years ago.
I’ll give you that.
I was simply pointing out that in this region large companies were still in daily violation of federal laws 30 years after the fact.
Yet another reason to consider eliminating their access to power through politicians so they have to compete both for customers and good employees.
You are out of your mind.
You are trying to compare the standard of living 100 years ago to today and the opportunities available in that time period as well.
You have missed my point completely.
“How they obtain them is up for debate”…so you admit they must be obtained somewhere other than the workplace.
Employers want to train you for the specialized skills they need, however the seek out employees who already have the knowledge, skill, and abilities to successfully master such specialized skills. When you look at both blue and white collar workers someone somewhere is going to need to teach those baseline skills.
Doubtful the Charleston plant was ever in consideration. Building aircraft is a very complicated process and the new composite bodies no doubt present problems never encountered in the past. New plant with new technology doesn’t come fast or easy.