SC

More Boeing SC Blues …

PALMETTO STATE WORKERS STILL STRUGGLING TO BUILD “MACK DADDY PLANES” IN NORTH CHARLESTON Anyone who has flown in or out of the Charleston International Airport can’t help but be awestruck at the massive Boeing facility located adjacent to the terminal. Its gleaming white walls towering over thousands of cars ……

PALMETTO STATE WORKERS STILL STRUGGLING TO BUILD “MACK DADDY PLANES” IN NORTH CHARLESTON

Anyone who has flown in or out of the Charleston International Airport can’t help but be awestruck at the massive Boeing facility located adjacent to the terminal.

Its gleaming white walls towering over thousands of cars … all belonging to “South Carolina” workers employed by the global aerospace giant.

But is all well within those walls? No …

Last November, this website published an exclusive report detailing serious production problems at aircraft manufacturer Boeing’s North Charleston, S.C. facility, which manufactures the company’s chronically troubled 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft.

“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.”

Two months later, reporter Phil LeBeau – who covers automotive and aerospace issues for CNBC – confirmed much of our reporting.

Asked by a network anchor 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.”

Follow-up reports in The Seattle Times  earlier this year also highlighted the growing problems at Boeing’s North Charleston plant.

“Since late last year, Boeing 787 Dreamliner fuselage sections from North Charleston, S.C., have arrived at the Everett final assembly line seriously incomplete with wiring and hydraulics lines missing,” the paper reported in February. “The poorly done work out of Charleston threatens to undermine the company’s plans to deliver ten Dreamliners a month and fulfill the much-delayed jet program’s original promise.”

Nikki Haley and her manufacturing allies dismissed the reports as nothing but union propaganda – although Boeing did initiate a bonus payment program in February in an effort to get North Charleston “caught up” with its production.  In fact bonus payments were awarded to North Charleston employees last month after they met “internal milestones and performance metrics” related to the 787 backlog.

Really?  Based on a new report in The Seattle Times , Boeing might want to rethink those “milestones and metrics.”

“According to employees, when mechanics removed the cradles that held the rear fuselage in place on Dreamliner No. 214 – destined for Royal Jordanian Airways – nearly 100 improperly installed fasteners clattered to the factory floor,” the paper reported this week.  “A subsequent inspection found the South Carolina team in Everett had installed hundreds of temporary fasteners near the join between the two aft fuselage sections without the collars needed to hold them in place.”

Uh-oh …

A Boeing employee told the Times  the error showed “a lack of the most basic knowledge” of the jet’s construction – knowledge which “should be routine at this stage in the jet program.”

The story goes on to note that “work coming out of Boeing South Carolina was problematic from the beginning of the 787 program,” and that “workers with little experience proved unable to deliver the expected completed sections at the required pace.”

What an indictment of South Carolina’s workforce … such as it is.

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley and other status quo-supporting South Carolina politicians have bet big on Boeing and its Dreamliner – approving more than $1 billion in corporate welfare for the company.  Earlier this year state lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to support additional federal handouts for Boeing via the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

That subservient relationship may be coming to an end soon, though.  FITS has heard multiple reports of “discord” between South Carolina leaders and Boeing related to the prospect of unionization at its North Charleston facility.

We’ll be filing a report on that soon … so stay tuned.

In the meantime, it’s worth noting that not a single South Carolina mainstream media outlet has reported on Boeing’s North Charleston problems .  That proves once again that the only establishment in South Carolina more subservient to special interests than the S.C. General Assembly is the Fourth Estate that’s supposed to be holding them accountable.

Weak …

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97 comments

CNSYD June 25, 2014 at 10:07 am

Perhaps the “lack” of MSM reports on Boeing North Charleston “problems” are because they are mostly figments of Sic Willie’s vivid imagination. Sic Willie’s chief “source” seems to be the Seattle Times who, along with the union is pissed that Boeing located this plant in SC in lieu of WA. Sic Willie’s blinders, which only let him diss Haley and SC, falls right in line with them.

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Union propaganda June 25, 2014 at 10:39 am

You and I don’t agree on much, but in this case we share close viewpoints.

To blame the line worker at Boeing for these problems(and the story about 100 screws falling out of a engine bay sound like an outright lie/exaggeration to me) shows almost a total ignorance on how manufacturing is done.

Even if the problems are as described, you can point a finger to the process engineers, line supervisor, & the like….not the scrubs just doing what they are told on the line.

It’s a management problem, not a worker problem…assuming the problem is as bad as people with ulterior motives are describing(and unless you are truly in the know, inside Boeing, it would be hard to know).

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Native Ink June 25, 2014 at 12:20 pm

If you actually talk to Boeing workers, they will give you the inside story. The number of mistakes that happen there is a running joke.

The local MSM ignored the story right up until Boeing had to offer a short-term bonus for the workers to catch up on their work. That shows you how behind the ball the MSM is when it comes to Boeing Charleston.

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Yvette June 25, 2014 at 10:18 am

Wow it is shocking that SC doesn’t have the labor force to build airplanes….just shocking I tell you!

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CNSYD June 25, 2014 at 10:48 am

However, we have the labor force to build BMWs, tires, etc. In the 1960s until the “end” of the Cold War, we had the labor force to overhaul and refuel nuclear submarines and assemble sea launched ICBMs. I guess all these folk are/were dummies, that correct? Believe all the Sic Willie myths that you desire.

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Manray June 25, 2014 at 11:01 am

I spent many years working at the Charleston Naval Shipyard and the weapons station. Most of the engineers and management people had relocated from elsewhere. We always had trouble hiring locals because we couldn’t find many with the technical education of skill sets. Most of my engineer hires were from Georgia Tech.

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Bible Thumper June 25, 2014 at 11:06 am

That happens a lot with high skilled jobs. There is a nationwide search for staff. Highly skilled South Carolinians end up with jobs all around the country.

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Union propaganda June 25, 2014 at 11:06 am

Those aren’t the line workers champ….

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CNSYD June 25, 2014 at 11:19 am

I recruited engineers from VA to GA for engineering jobs at the shipyard. Engineers from VT, NCS, USC, and Clemson were the main hires as “they could walk and chew gum at the same time”. GT had very few engineers who could get a security clearance as there are so many foreign nationals in their programs. Of those who could, most would not understand which end of a screw driver to hold as they were not adept at understanding production work nor interfacing with production workers. If by “locals” you mean engineering schools in Charleston County, then there is only one, The Citadel, which only had Civil and Electrical.

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Manray June 25, 2014 at 4:50 pm

I recall hiring one Citadel BSEE. He was a good employee.

Beartrkkr June 25, 2014 at 12:13 pm

You mean we didn’t have local nuclear and naval engineers just sitting looking for work to come to them?

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Timmy Tebow June 25, 2014 at 12:35 pm

No Clemson hires???

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Jackie Chiles June 25, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Uh, so why can’t Boeing hire people from outside the area? Furthermore, how do we know the people making the mistakes are actually from SC?

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Karadion June 25, 2014 at 6:27 pm

They do hire from outside the area.

Jackie Chiles June 26, 2014 at 11:56 am

So why are SC workers being blamed like the only people working there are from SC?

Karadion June 26, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Because sensationalism sell? Charleston Chamber of Commerce report two ago states that alot of the skilled demand were filled by out of state people.

The Colonel June 25, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Sin,
You left off yachts (Benateau), stereos (Bose), high tech beds (Sleep Number), kayaks (Perception), guns (PTR)…

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Bible Thumper June 25, 2014 at 11:00 am

Yvette, I doubt that you and Will are smarter than the Boeing management. It’s just a hunch.

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Deo Vindice SC June 25, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Yvette, ” love the sweet name ” you are right. Tell everyone that we are in peril. The state keeps us stupid for control and low wages. Some in the state make millions, send help !!!

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Yvette June 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Well said Deo!! By the way, my daddy named me after the actress Yvette Mimieux :) Thanks for your compliment

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Halfvast Conspirator June 25, 2014 at 10:24 am

Clearly the state and county need to provide more tax “incentives” to make this work better, if indeed it is not working well.

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Smirks June 25, 2014 at 10:29 am

“All we need is a competitive tax climate and the jobs will FLOOD into SC naturally!”

“Wow, look at how dumb our workers are! Who would ever want to move their business here?”

Great marketing strategy there!

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Jackie Chiles June 25, 2014 at 2:32 pm

You do realize that Boeing doesn’t just have to hire people in South Carolina right? They can post a job opening and anyone in the world can apply for it. Seems like it’s not the SC workforce that’s dumb, but the people who can’t tell whether someone’s too stupid to build a plane.

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Beachtiger0412 June 30, 2014 at 11:09 am

Does Boeing still get tax credits for each employee they hire – at one time it was $1,000 per employee. And they could fire and rehire and get tax credits twice.

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Bible Thumper June 25, 2014 at 10:39 am

Don’t you think you should here the story from South Carolina employees also and not just Washington employees?
They are having much more serious problems with worker accidents in Washington that have nothing to do with the quality of South Carolina work.
There is often problems with traveled when there is resentment of the source of traveled work. They can always complain about SC work that they see in Washington, but SC never see Washington work.
This story covers resentful Washington union labor views, but not the view from SC workers.

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Union Propoganda June 25, 2014 at 10:40 am

Precisely.

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Manray June 25, 2014 at 10:57 am

Interesting…so the plant in North Charleston, established as a union-busting scheme (or a SC taxpayer subsidized negotiating tool for Boeing), can’t build the aircraft as well as the unionized plant in Washington. Maybe there is a lesson here? I think Boeing wants to build good airplanes and SC pols want to bust unions. Will the twain meet?

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Native Ink June 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm

In Tennessee, the pols went ballistic when VW wanted to bring the union into their plant. They spread threats and misinformation on the eve of the vote. VW denied their rumors, but it was enough to make the union narrowly lose. I would expect the same to happen here.

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Just another Joe June 25, 2014 at 11:09 am

“Its gleaming white walls towering over thousands of” Thousands of what? Can you please complete this sentence. Perhaps your cut-paste tool crashed and you didn’t notice.

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Bible Thumper June 25, 2014 at 12:19 pm

If it is just an attempt at prose, we ignore fits errors. If it is an error of substance, then we ask for a correction. Whatever thousands that were towered over, it wouldn’t of added anything to the substance of the article.

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Beartrkkr June 25, 2014 at 11:15 am

Smoking batteries blamed on poor engineering from its supplier http://af.reuters.com/article/ethiopiaNews/idAFL2N0OZ1KO20140618

Wing cracking blamed on the wing supplier http://gizmodo.com/boeings-787-dreamliner-is-having-wing-cracking-problem-1538980909

Seems plenty of engineering blame to go around before putting this squarely on the line workers’ shoulders. Surely these supplier problems wouldn’t cause delays in building right? But since that doesn’t fit the agenda we will ignore it.

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CNSYD June 25, 2014 at 11:21 am

Sic Willie requests that you stop posting truths that conflict with his thesis.

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Native Ink June 25, 2014 at 12:06 pm

The trouble makes sense to me, although my relative who works there is now an ex-relative, so I’m not sure if I can ask for his insider view anymore. Anyhow, from what I learned from him about the morale there, I would have guessed that a short-term incentive (i.e. the bonus to reduce traveled work) would only lead to short-term progress. Now that the workers are underpaid and undermotivated again, I suspect the cagier among them are waiting for more incentives to be thrown their way before they temporarily step it up again to the level Boeing wants.

I haven’t seen this on the web anywhere, but I wonder if someone has done a labor cost analysis comparing the Everett and Charleston work forces. With the droves of contract workers and the short-term financial incentives Boeing uses to keep Charleston stumbling along, I wonder how much money they are actually saving down here.

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CNSYD June 25, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Lets see. First Native Ink implies in another post that he has talked to multiple Boeing workers. Then it turns out it is only one who he doesn’t talk with anymore.. Native Ink alleges that Boeing SC workers are “underpaid”. Based on what comparison? Apparently Native Ink is unaware of the term “prevailing wage rates”.

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Native Ink June 25, 2014 at 1:55 pm

I have an ex-relative who has worked there since the Voight days. I also am friendly with two Boeing workers who are fellow Cub Scout dads. The Cub Scouts don’t meet in the summer so I can’t ask them about what is happening at the plant right now. How many Boeing workers do you talk to?

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CNSYD June 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm

How many workers have you talked with who think they are paid enough or, gasp, too much?

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Native Ink June 25, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Do you talk to friends about their pay? I steer clear of that topic. However, I know for a fact that at least Boeing worker wasn’t bringing home much money because his ex-wife says so. I’d say the real conflict at Boeing is the the fact that a small group of workers is constantly being asked to fix problems caused by other workers, yet they are not paid significantly more.

CNSYD June 25, 2014 at 3:24 pm

An ex-wife thinks her ex-husband wasn’t bringing home enough money. Oh what a news flash that is. Couldn’t get the alimony up high enough to keep her in a comfortable lifestyle I guess.

Exactly where are these “greener pastures”?

Native Ink June 25, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Less stress, same money. There are plenty of places to work for an experienced machinist. Places where you don’t have to prop up a multi-billion dollar project while working 20-40 hours of overtime every week.

Lenny June 25, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Lear/Savannah They recruit in area frequently.

Jackie Chiles June 25, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Devastating.

I'm paid too much June 25, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Perhaps he’s talking to these workers while in the unemployment line.

:)

Bible Thumper June 25, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Yesterday, there was story about “Bible Thumper” now a story on “SCBlues”. What’s the deal?

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Native Ink June 25, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Who is the “South Carolina team in Everett”? That makes no sense.

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Good point June 25, 2014 at 12:50 pm

The only thing I can suppose is that they were there for training….so if that’s the case, the question is…who was training them?

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Native Ink June 26, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Okay, I just read the Seattle Times story. I didn’t realize South Carolina workers went to Everett to do work (or get training).

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The Colonel June 25, 2014 at 12:41 pm

”A subsequent inspection found the South Carolina team in Everett had installed hundreds of temporary fasteners near the join between the two aft fuselage sections without the collars needed to hold them in place.”…

Correct me if I’m wrong but I read this sentence to mean that the defective work was done “…in Everett…”. This isn’t an indictment of the Charleston plant at all.

In fact, “…bonus payments were awarded to North Charleston employees last month after they met “internal milestones and performance metrics” related to the 787 backlog…, so Boeing must have been satisfied with how things were working out.

Slow news day Will? I know Howie pays you to blog about “edumicashun”, who pays you to run down the Charleston Boeing operation every chance you get?

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Slartibartfast June 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Facts! Facts! Facts! All you care about are Facts! WHEN are you going to care about the UNICORNS?!? :oD

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Little Benito June 25, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Unicorns fart into the atmosphere causing global warming. They need to be regulated.

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SCBlueWoman June 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Look for that union label!

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Ha! June 26, 2014 at 4:26 am

What you gonna do, climb up under the plane before it takes off to make sure?

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Jackie Chiles June 26, 2014 at 11:57 am

No, she’s going to mope about how evil republicans won’t do anything about global warming while jetting off to the next global warming conference aboard her union built plane.

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Deo Vindice SC June 25, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Other than being a slave in SC, ” don’t ever get hurt on the job ” it will be hard to find another one in the state. Remember this fact, ” if you got hurt, it was your fault ” so, lay low and don’t complain. Your chance of another job will be less, broken slaves are useless. I work with many disabilities just to take care of my family. Have a great day in SC !

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Karadion June 25, 2014 at 6:24 pm

On a scale of 1-10, the Seattle Times article is a 9 in terms of bullshit. The work injury in Everett has nothing to do with Charleston and yet it implies it does. The fasteners were temporary. A commentator on the Seattle Times already explained this and the fasteners were not meant to be permanent which different fasteners are permanently installed when the plane is joined together. The fact is that NCH already supplies ALL of the frames that Everett needs in regards to Mid and Aft body. So this issue is 1 out of 220 frames which is 0.004% of the production chain.

Oh, in other news, Boeing already states that they are now at the 3 per month production rate which was announced today. Fits hasn’t kept up with the delivery rate obviously.

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Carl Schmidt June 29, 2014 at 12:45 am

So, which senior manager’s cock are you presently deep throating? Or did you just go straight for Van Avery? Someone should probably keep an eye on you because you’re taking this shit quite poorly and are probably an at-risk employee. I know man. I’ve been there. Defending my company’s honor against the retards at Everett that actually think what they do is hard. I get that, really I do.

Do you honestly think they magically arrived at 12,000+ JBS because of two ice storms? That number was released well before those storms. Those storms served a great purpose though. They gave the man (Van Avery) whose cock you seem to be attached to a reason to make people work twelve hour days and a mandatory Sunday to make up for the shutdown.

Here’s a tip: you are an assembler. You really don’t know jack shit other than what Jack Jones and company tells you every week in the corporate spam emails and whatever other clever bullshit your manager is feeding you to keep you working those ten hour days to make rate. You are literally at the bottom rung of the Boeing corporation. No matter how many times Boeing tells you you’re a special snowflake and that your job is the most important, know that they’re lying through their fucking teeth in an attempt at keeping you oblivious to the fact that you’re getting bent the fuck over in oh so many glorious ways. The sooner you understand that the sooner we can all go back to poking fun at the utter shitiness that is BSC without having to read your cognitive dissonance in action.

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Karadion June 29, 2014 at 12:50 am

“snip…”
Not going to bother responding to this crap.
“Do you honestly think they magically arrived at 12,000+ JBS because of two ice storms?”
Not magically. But they did reach that area because of the ice storms. It did sharply decline to 7,500 before they even started bringing back the majority of contractors currently on staff.
“That number was released well before those storms.”
Actually those numbers were released after the storms. The chart is up there for anyone to see and they’re still updating it even after the bonuses have already been handed out. Guess where the spike is? After January 29th. When did production shutdown? January 28th and 29th. I can collect all the data from the JBS records and find the correlation to be taking place AFTER January 28th/29th.
“Here’s a tip: you are an assemble.”
Nope, try again.

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Carl Schmidt June 29, 2014 at 1:18 am

Oh goodie, so you didn’t actually have to experience what it was like on the production line for the ten months leading up to the ice storms where those JBS came from. You are seriously overstating the impact of the storms. We lost three shifts worth of work. Between the three buildings, maybe 1,000 jobs? Besides we all know the only reason they shut it down was because you couldn’t get out of Mount Pleasant without using 41 and driving 1.5 hours. Protip: that’s where the people who make those decisions live.

As for going over 12,000 JBS: I saw the charts dude. There was a period of time where the line went as high as 15,000. I remember because I used to be infuriated and would show my coworkers. I was there living the nightmare of mandatory ten hour shifts slinging seats with a less-than- half staffed crew since the rest were on the flight line finishing the shittiest customer build that factory has ever seen: Qatar. Any Assembler will tell you Qatar is the primary reason FAD fell behind. Then there was that time someone dropped a quackenbush and severely damaged the mid section of one of the planes. That was what drove the huge hiccup in 88-20.

For some reason I thought I saw that you were an Assembler. Mea Culpa on that one, but I’m glad I was wrong because now I know why you write what you write.

The fact still stands that you only know what Boeing feeds you, unless you’re a top level manager with some free time to browse fitsnews, which I rather doubt. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if you were posting on company time. Someone should definitely keep an eye on you now. I hope Karadion isn’t your real name. See, I did the best thing for me, I quit, and I will never work for that shitfest again, so I’ll be more than happy to share what it was like from my perspective, the bottom rung.

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Karadion June 29, 2014 at 1:59 am

“As for going over 12,000 JBS: I saw the charts dud e. There was a period of time where the line went as high as 15,000.”
It never did hit 15,000, though. It was under there.

“Qatar.”
Yes, Qatar post-assembly has been shifted over to Everett now. There’s only a couple more being assembled and they’re being delivered out of there for post-assembly work & delivery. Everett will be getting the remaining Qatar according to NYC787 (ZA475, ZA476, ZA477). Al Baker’s pretty demanding which is agreed there. He lost millions when he was trying to establish new routes as a result of the fleet grounding. The fact is Al Baker is the one buying 777X’s worth billions (50 777-9X’s) off Boeing as well so it’s a serious customer we need to deal with regardless of how bad it affects the JBS for both Everett and Charleston. http://gulfnews.com/business/aviation/boeing-vows-to-deliver-on-promises-in-2014-1.1284932

“In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if you were posting on company time.”
Nope. Try again.
“I hope Karadion isn’t your real name.”
Let me know if you get your buddy to search my name. I’ll have a laugh at that.

The thing about this place despite what the Everett union boys wants, it’s still going to be going through the expansion which is going through right now. For example, International is proposed to be scrapped and traffic redirected around at the Montague Road. The IAM 751 boys even at KOMO and ST call for the place to shut down and argue for Boeing to move the production back to Washington. And they know that means they’d have to add another 1,000 to the accounting block and to rebuild customer confidence after absorbing production shock.

“Your opinion is entirely irrelevant.”
The fact is most of those commentators here are rambling off the top of their head making up assumptions about this place. Just like the Everett guy claiming they’re making rate which implies 10 a month for all of the 787 which you know isn’t even remotely true either. It’s 7/3 no matter what and it’s impossible with the Dreamlifters delivering their 7 maximum. MHI had a hard time readjusting to accommodate the 10 per month wing demands and it’s going to be interesting to see if they’ll accomodate 14 in the future. In 2016/2017, manufacturing are supposed to go to 12 and 14 by 2020. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/31/us-boeing-production-idUSBRE99U12K20131031 Look at NYC787’s delivery list. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AtfsHdXQ5rl9dFp4b1hETmNQNzN0b2dSUlRNWEFOOVE&single=true&gid=2&output=html May was a low delivery month for Everett so it’s easy for them to look like if they delivered 10 in June by shifting some of those from May. In fact, delivery for June is now 13 or 14 total (10 June + + 3 May roll over, May only had 7 deliveries). I assume that the first 787-9 is supposed to done before the end of the month since it’s a RR-certified 787-9 which was certified last week. Charleston is now producing at the rate they’re supposed to be barring any manufacturing hiccups like the wing issues.

Carl Schmidt June 29, 2014 at 2:34 am

I have no doubt that they’ll expand. I only quit at the end of March, so that’s not news to me. In case you hadn’t noticed I was very unhappy there and I worked with far too many equally unhappy people. If they don’t figure that part out soon they’re going to have a very serious problem finding people who’ll want to work there in the future. It doesn’t take a genius to know that you cannot expect to run your labor force into the ground repeatedly and without recourse. That’s how accidents happen, mistakes are made, and it may not manifest immediately. That’s why I got out. I let them push me over far too long and finally said enough.

This is anecdotal, but relevant: I was at a restaurant and was chatting with the wait staff. I suggested they consider applying to Boeing for a variety of low-level jobs for the benefits if nothing else. Without fail they flatly admitted that with the amount of bad things they hear from the people who work at Boeing there was “no fucking way” they’d consider working there. It’s a very small sample size, but consider how many bars and restaurants there are in the area with wait staff that have their ears to the ground. It doesn’t take long nor many people for that sentiment to spread. They’re also very unhappy with how phenomenally high rent and house prices have gone up in five years. That’s only going to keep getting worse, and eventually that once adequate salary won’t go nearly as far. Before long you’re going to have a mini Everett with the same ridiculous cost of living.

Carl Schmidt June 29, 2014 at 1:23 am

Oh, here’s another fun fact: the position I worked in knew about the JBS at least a week before they “released” the numbers because we were working eights, but had to go back to tens and Saturdays. And really you’re almost certainly a desk jockey. Your opinion is entirely irrelevant.

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751Machinist June 25, 2014 at 7:09 pm

I am a Structures Mechanic on the 787 program in Washington. The Seattle Times article is accurate. The Times is very Pro Boeing, so they have no reason to embellish anything. Boeing has most of the media hoodwinked and/or scared to report the real facts that Jim McNerney blew it with his SC plan. The media keeps quoting that Boeing is making the planned rates, but the fact is that EVERETT is making the rates for both plants. Now I have nothing against the SC workers, its not their fault totally because they are new to aircraft manufacturing. But don’t come here and allege that the stories are not true, are made up, or are some plot by the Union. that is BS. The 751 Machinists WANTS the SC workers to succeed. The Everett plant starts each buiild already behind because of rework that must be done to the SC shipments. That is a fact. Boeing is insisting on the SC products be shipped out regardless of how much work has not been completed yet, or if the quality is subpar, because if Boeing misses a line move deadline, word will spread rapidly that SC has fallen behind. I can see a tragedy occuring someday because of this. Boeing is 90% to blame, the workers in SC share 10%. I hope the SC workers are starting to realize that Boeing doesnt give a damn about them. They only care about greed. Boeing wants to pit both plants against each other. Stop letting that happen

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Karadion June 25, 2014 at 10:16 pm

“but the fact is that EVERETT is making the rates for both plants.”

That’s inaccurate. You guys produce 7 a month which is tracked by NYC777 of Airliners.net and you’ve seen in the BNN that North Charleston is producing 3 a month today. Which correlates with the data tracked by NYC777. You guys only get 7 frames a month from Charleston for Section 47 through 43. The rest such as 41 comes from Wichita, Tail Fin from Frederickson, and Stablizers from Italy while the wings obviously comes from MHI in Japan. The fact is that it all adds up to 10 frames being delivered a month which is on target as Boeing wanted.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AtfsHdXQ5rl9dFp4b1hETmNQNzN0b2dSUlRNWEFOOVE&single=true&gid=2&output=html

It’s also hard to believe you claiming that you guys want SC to succeed when there are more commentators than you from KOMO and Seattle Times calling for Charleston to be completely shut down.

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Native Ink June 26, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Yeah, but All Things 787 (NYC777) was all roses and rainbows about Boeing Charleston until he started writing panicked sounding posts about how badly the plant was doing. Then Boeing “fixed” the problems and he is back to his Sunny Jim posts. Basically, he is a more than a few steps behind what is actually happening.

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Karadion June 26, 2014 at 1:09 pm

You are full of shit. He actually tracks the data which is easy to calculate assembly rate and displays this at airliners.net. Dominic Gates for example lifted info of Uresh’s site claiming he thought it was Boeing info until he owned up to his mistake and gave credit to Uresh. Plus since your only source is an ex cousin of yours, your credibility is little to none.

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Native Ink June 26, 2014 at 1:22 pm

LOL. Before “All Things 787” started panicking about Boeing Charleston, I knew for months there were problems there because I actually live in Charleston and talk to people here in town.

Just to refresh your memory, here is a link to the moment when a blogger who stares at spreadsheets all day realized there were real world problems in Charleston. Everything he was talking about was old news by then.

http://nyc787.blogspot.com/2014/02/boeing-delivers-4-787-in-january-but.html

And BTW, people get angry on this blog, but they find creative ways to curse.

Karadion June 26, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Anecdotal statement is not evidence. I’m a BSC 007 employee here at BSC. So what is the real production rate if you truly do know based on your anecdotal evidence?

You just proved my point though. Thank you for the assist. All of his info was based on the data provided and also works with Matt Cawby. Now I expect you to go scampering off finding out who is Matt Cawby.

Native Ink June 26, 2014 at 1:37 pm

So if you’re an employee, did you think everything was sunny right before your company had to offer bonuses and hire back contractors? I wonder if you are the type to always parrot the company line.

Maybe there has been a miraculous turnaround at the plant since February, Common sense makes me think it’s unlikely that all the problems magically disappeared, unlikely enough to take the Seattle Times claims as credible.

Karadion June 26, 2014 at 2:00 pm

If you were an employee (which you’re not), you’d be seeing the metrics that shows when we were behind back in February. Since you’re obviously not aware, BSC shut down production twice (ice storms if you actually recall) which skyrocketed the metrics. Also not all of the contractors were hired back. One guy I know in mid had only half of his previous team come back for example. Plus those metrics aren’t gamed because they’re available to anyone and has to be done no matter what.

Common sense is also not evidence. It’s a sense.

Also the Seattle Times article talked about temporary fasteners which have to be replaced with permanent ones on the assembly line.

Native Ink June 26, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Sure, they dangled a bonus in front of the workers to cut down on their traveled work because there were 2 snow days.

If all else fails, blame the weather. (Logic be damned).

Karadion June 26, 2014 at 2:41 pm

So when a hurricane hits Charleston, we should just work through it logic be damned?

Native Ink June 26, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Nah, just wait for management to offer you bonuses and hire back contractors (and then blame it on the weather).

Karadion June 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Thank you for your obtuse response. You don’t know shit as usual. FYI safety is paramount here you know they won’t risk lives like with the ice storm when ops was terminated January 28/29. There were no tests flights during the shutdown especially due to the ice on the flightline.

Keep running your mouth. You’re still not an employee.

Carl Schmidt June 29, 2014 at 1:25 am

You would be safer in the FAD building than anywhere else in the Lowcountry if a hurricane did hit. Supposed to withstand the worst nature can dish out.

751Machinist June 26, 2014 at 6:05 pm

you have a lot to learn. Been at Boeing for 30 years, how long have you been involved with them?. Not going to waste my time on those who think they know Boeing after only 3 years. Wait and find out the hard way I guess. Good luck Mr. Know It All. i will be laughing last

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Karadion June 26, 2014 at 6:10 pm

And I’m the pope.

It doesn’t change any of the facts that you stated that Everett was making the rates for both plants which implies Everett is delivering 10 a month. That isn’t even remotely true.

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751Machinist June 26, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Aint gonna expand or get another product until the union is voted in and until the workers can make rate. And sending uncompleted work is NOT making rate. Everett is making rate. SC is just pushing pieces of a plane out the door and saying they are building X a month.

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Karadion June 26, 2014 at 6:15 pm

What do all these have in common besides being assembled in Charleston?

VT-ANI
VT-ANJ
VT-ANK
VT-ANL
VT-ANM
B-2722
B-2723
B-2730
VT-ANO
B-2733
B-2736
B-2737
A7-BCF
CC-BBE
B-2735
N27908
JA833J
A7-BCH
JA824A
N26909
A7-BCI
JA828A
A7-BCJ
N26910
A7-BCM
B-2787
VT-ANP
ET-AOU
B-2788
5Y-KZB

Also there’s only 1 frame in this list that had to go to Everett for interiors and delivered out of Everett. Can you spot it?

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on the fence July 1, 2014 at 2:28 pm

if unions are so great, why did I lose my job with the UAW while working for General Motors?

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Union propaganda June 25, 2014 at 10:57 pm

I find it amazing that you bite the hands that feeds you. If Boeing is so evil, why not find a job someplace else?

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt June 25, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Ahhhh….those pesky unions with their properly built aircraft up in Washington state.

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Karadion June 25, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Which aircraft delivered from Charleston were not properly built? VT-ANA (panel falling off)? Nope, can’t be that one. Can’t be the Ethiopian bird that had the fire in Heathrow because we just delivered the first Ethiopian just last month. Nope, can’t be any of the JAL (delivered first one last August) or ANA (delivered first one last October) birds that led to the fleet grounding early 2013.

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Union Propaganda June 25, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Pay him no mind, he’s the liberal equivalent of Grand Tango here, constantly talking out his ass.

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Carl Schmidt June 29, 2014 at 1:59 am

Oh your head is so far in the sand it’s unreal. You should probably ask someone in the factory that actually knows shit about any AOG issues with, say, AIN.

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Karadion June 29, 2014 at 2:29 am

Your claim doesn’t disprove mine. I asked him which aircraft it was. A lot of the serious incidents were assembled in Everett.
All things being equal based on information from Aviation Herald, there were 7 Charleston technical issues vs 26 technical issues which is a 3.7 E to 1 C ratio. Now there are 127 Everett-assembled vs 30 Charleston. What’s interesting is that two of the Everett had cracked windshield and so did two of the Charleston. So taking that off, you get 4.8 E to 1 C ratio which is almost close enough to the 4.2 E to 1 C ratio of how many airplanes are in circulation. I didn’t count bird strike for one of the Everett because that’s unpredictable nature.

The reality is that both suffer the same rate of issues which “properly built aircraft” doesn’t make sense.

As for Air India, LN28 wasn’t delivered until just last week due not to mechanical problems but the fact they didn’t want to take this early bird and didn’t have the money either until now. They’ve sold off all their 787’s to a lessor. AIN is a poorly managed airline owned by the state, period.

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Carl Schmidt June 29, 2014 at 2:37 am

Does Boeing pay you to peruse sites like this just to defend them? I knew some Kool Aid drinking people there, but you really take it to another level. I had second and third level managers with a better ability to admit the place has been a shit show, perhaps until very recently.

Karadion June 29, 2014 at 2:47 am

If you’re going to shift the goal post, then it becomes moot to answer you. I use information from independent sites out there. Aviation Herald isn’t even owned by Boeing, how biased! You can easily take the same information I got from AH and find the same result.

Assembler B June 26, 2014 at 9:28 am

The place is a mismanaged “Hell Hole”. The “Bonus” all done with smoke and mirrors nothing really changed, air-frames are rolling to the flight unfinished and poorly assembled. If the union is such a great idea why have they not been voted in? I could go on for pages but will stop for now.

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Karadion June 26, 2014 at 1:02 pm

No please don’t stop. So when the plane rolls to the flight line in Charleston, why are customers taking delivery of them if they’re supposedly unfinished and poorly assembled? Especially when Charleston just beat Everett’s record of 69 days from factory to flightline? What’s the new record? 68 days. Source : NYC787

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Assembler B June 26, 2014 at 1:14 pm

The planes leave Charleston completed and ticketed. There is a dedicated Factory Travel team that completes work, customer gripes and the like. Without them BSC would be up to there eyes in planes. Ever seen Game of Thrones and the seven kingdoms that’s BSC.

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Karadion June 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Bullshit. I actually work here unlike you. I’ve worked with them and they’re Charleston locals. What’s next? You going to advocate for shutdown? I moved here from Washington. If they’re Everett people, then we’d notice them because they can’t wear our BSC-only (SC007) uniforms. Are you trying to say that they’ve been here for the last year and half walking around with no BSC uniforms? Do you have proof?

Analogies don’t work here.

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Carl Schmidt June 29, 2014 at 12:11 am

There has been a travel team that completes all unfinished travel work on the flight line for a couple of years now dude. I worked with them. They’re regular BSC assemblers that used to work in the factory, but their sole purpose in life is now being a cleanup crew.

751Machinist June 26, 2014 at 6:08 pm

I will be happy earning twice as much as you, with superior benefits thanks to the union. Give Nikki a big thank you

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CNSYD June 27, 2014 at 3:31 pm

But you live in Everett, WA. Boeing has to pay people multiple times a SC salary to live in that hell hole.

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Bagsa D. June 28, 2014 at 12:30 am

That facility is a cancer on what is otherwise a beautiful area. Their prevailing wage is based on an incredibly weak regional salary comparison. There aren’t that many other regional facilities that build wide-body jetliners. Oh wait, there aren’t any with the 150-mile radius they use to factor your salary on. These people are supposed to be building the world’s most advanced wide body commercial jetliner. Go ahead and pay people that are supposed to be building the world’s most advanced jetliner a mediocre wage and see what kind of effort gets put forth. Couple that mediocre wage with a skyrocketing cost of living brought into the area by Boeing’s arrival.

The raises started out alleging to be some sort of merit-based system. It was based on absolutely nothing attached to the production of airplanes. It was based on the salaried job positions. Enough people complained and they tried to change it. Suddenly it was based on a bunch of metrics no one had even heard of, let alone seen. Enough people complained that someone they knew was making way more than they were, but were hired after them, so the company capitulated and gave a few people significant raises to level them off with the rest of the group. Starting to feel like a union. It was a total sham. People everyone knew were slack offs somehow managed to workout raises on the order of $1 over the year. Others who everyone knew to be a hard worker might see something on the order of $0.30-$0.50. There was absolutely no rhyme or reason to it, and it wasn’t helped by the fact that no one could keep their raises or their current wages to themselves.

Then there’s the management. We started with an upper level management team that at least outwardly seemed to genuinely like the people that they were responsible for. The low-level managers got shuffled around endlessly. No more sure fire way to level out a production system than to rotate managers every six months. In my case, our group saw 7 different managers over the course of the first year. Then suddenly one by one the higher level managers started going away. All but Jack Jones. Somehow he has escaped. The management team at all levels has been infiltrated with 777 program people. They don’t manage the way people had become accustomed to. They were given a golden opportunity to rule with an iron fist after spending years in a union environment in Everett. It’s a manager’s wet dream. Almost immediately upon the arrival of the director of operations from the 777 program things started to change.

It started with mandatory overtime. Some sections of the build had been on mandatory 10 hour days since the dawn of Boeing buying them out. Others started with the arrival of the 777 managers. Some teams spent 8-10 months on mandatory 10 hour days and mandatory Saturdays. They never called it mandatory. They’d use cutesy words like “all-up.” If you didn’t show up though, unless it was a really great reason, you would get an infraction, so it was mandatory because infractions lead to corrective actions lead to you’re fired. Some managers would work with you on the low-level, but if their manager started to get wind of it, you could forget about your plans or face repercussions. This is the same company that claims to have a deep understanding of the work-life balance requirements in a modern work place. This is the same company that claims to understand the health and safety needs of a manufacturing environment.

Do you really think they achieved that 8% bonus milestone by sheer dedication from the workforce
without cutting corners? It was driven ENTIRELY by a machine above the heads of the workers constantly pushing the workers more and demanding it be done or else. Then there is the manner of how they actually fudged the numbers in order to make sure the bonus happened. They KNEW that if the bonus didn’t happen all bets would be off with that workforce. The morale was already at the very bottom of the ladder, so failing to produce that bonus would’ve been a death blow and an absolute guarantee that the union would be approved by the workers.

So how did they do it? They claimed the FAA was on board with this, and they also claimed Everett was doing this, so it was all legitimate. Mind you, these were Everett managers now running the show.

The number everyone was concerned with was jobs behind schedule. Realistically the vast majority came from the Aft and Mid body buildings, but the FA&D building was traveling a not insignificant number north of a thousand jobs to the flight line. It was a cascade effect, so the managers had a plan. Let’s close out all of the baseline jobs that gave us manufacturing authority per Boeing’s own procedure and reference the work to a new job that would be created downstream called a pickup. Basically, pickups were meant to deal with work that had to be fixed or altered after it was completed. It wasn’t meant to complete installations that couldn’t be finished in the factory, but it would drive the jobs-behind-schedule number down. It painted a pretty picture for the big screen meetings, and it would help ensure, for their part, that the FA&D building was knocking down the JBS number that would guarantee a big bonus.

Make no mistake, that work was being completed by temporary contractor fulfillments and a big old whip that the early 20th century manufacturers would’ve been extremely proud of. Anyone who dares get on here and somehow defend that awful facility has no idea what it meant to be an assembler at that plant and what it is still like. Or you were one of the freeloaders that didn’t carry their weight and obviously the working conditions didn’t bother you as much because you spent most of your day walking around the building or hiding in one of the break rooms on the computer.

I don’t think the IAM can save that facility. The IAM was there before Boeing bought the two previous companies and they were kicked out. I have no faith in their interest in protecting these people because their bread and butter is in Everett, not North Charleston. Don’t kid yourselves. BSC is Boeing’s social experiment, and the only losers in the game are the good people of the Charleston area. The site isn’t a very good union busting tool because the place is a long, long way from being truly self-sufficient.

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Native Ink June 28, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Thanks for the info. It sounds closer to what I’ve heard than what one of your fellow employees, the Boeing cheerleader, is posting.

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Assembler B July 1, 2014 at 9:59 am

Everything you posted is Truth.

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William J. Hamilton July 1, 2014 at 1:42 pm

SC’s schools produce tens of thousands of smart, well educated High School Graduates every year. Most of them are headed out of the state for better pay, lifestyle options and other things SC can’t provide. When I was a child you could afford a house with a dock or even a shack at the beach on ordinary pay. It was also much harder to connect with employment opportunities elsewhere. Those days are long gone. Charleston’s cost of living is over 100% of the national average and has been for over a decade. It is cheaper to live in Ladson and spend your weekends at Walmart, but why would anyone capable of earning 100k elsewhere want to live here, earn 50k and do that? They don’t and they won’t. If your pay is low, your talent will leave. In the 1980s the state Chamber of Commerce issued reports warning that the low pay approach to development wasn’t going to work long term. Evidently the state is now committed to it any way. Perhaps this report is “union propaganda.” If so, lets see Boeing fly one of those planes out of here, instead of running it over to Washington State to be finished. Charleston’s doing OK, but the tourism, resort and medical jobs which are the foundation of the economy don’t pay well or consistently. Most of the younger people I see working at them aren’t buying houses, forming families or having kids. They’re working for tips and making excuses for not paying rent in January. This is what we want. Most recently some wonderful people I’ve met who moved here to retire have decided to move on. They want something better: better transit since they’re not going to be able to drive much longer, better medical services and better lifestyle options.

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