Tag Archives: Boeing South Carolina

IAM withdraws its application to unionize Boeing South Carolina

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has withdrawn its petition to the NLRB for an April 22 union election at Boeing (Charleston). The unionizing election is essence has now been postponed. The union issued this statement:

IAM logo

Citing a toxic environment and gross violations of workers’ lawful organizing rights, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) on April 17 withdrew its petition with the NLRB for an April 22 union election at the Boeing Company in North Charleston, SC. The decision pushes the date for a subsequent election forward by at least six months and was made after IAM organizers conducted home visits with more than 1,700 Boeing workers.

The petition for a union election was filed on March 16, 2015 after a significant number of Boeing workers signed authorization cards expressing interest in union representation. Workers at Boeing had reached out to the IAM regarding numerous workplace concerns, including forced overtime, rising health care costs and a lack of respect on the shop floor.

“After speaking with Boeing workers who we were previously unable to reach, we’ve determined now is not the right time for an election,” said lead IAM organizer Mike Evans. “An atmosphere of threats, harassment and unprecedented political interference has intimidated workers to the point we don’t believe a free and fair election is possible.”

In addition to filing Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges, the IAM recently suspended home visits after two organizers were threatened at gunpoint and others reported hostile and near-violent confrontations.

“The right to organize is a legally protected civil right and no one who chooses to exercise that right in North Charleston, SC should fear for their life or safety,” said Evans. “I hold the Boeing Company, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and their surrogates responsible for creating an atmosphere of state-sanctioned hostility toward unions and union organizers.”

The IAM will continue to work with Boeing workers and members of the Charleston community to further communicate the benefits of collective bargaining for workers and their local economies. Efforts will also be made to dispel the misinformation spread by Boeing and their allies over recent weeks.

“Boeing workers reached out to us initially because they wanted to be treated fairly on the job and build a better, more secure life for themselves and their families,” said Evans. “Boeing’s campaign of rumors and threats may have succeeded in delaying this election, but the fight to win collective bargaining rights for thousands of Boeing South Carolina workers is far from over.”

Copyright Photo: Arisara Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 787 Flight Line at North Charleston, South Carolina (CHS).

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Boeing delivers the first South Carolina-built 787-9 Dreamliner to United Airlines

United 787-9 N35953 (12)(Grd) CHA (Boeing)(LR)

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) has delivered the first 787-9 Dreamliner assembled at its North Charleston, South Carolina, facility to United Airlines (Chicago). The airplane also marks a milestone for the 787 program as the 250th Dreamliner to be delivered.

In the first quarter of 2013, Boeing South Carolina teammates began fabrication, assembly and integration of the aft and mid fuselage sections for the first Boeing 787-9 and delivered them to Everett Final Assembly. In November 2014, work began on the first South Carolina-built 787-9 when the first aft and mid sections were delivered to Boeing South Carolina Final Assembly. The airplane rolled out to the flight line in January 2015 and completed its first flight last month.

“Our customers have told us they love flying on the Dreamliner, and we’re excited to mark yet another first for the aircraft with this delivery from Boeing South Carolina,” said United’s Vice President of Fleet Ron Baur. “We were the first North American carrier to fly the 787-8 in September 2012 and the first to fly 787-9s in September 2014. The Dreamliners have allowed us to fly longer distances with greater fuel efficiency and open new direct routes such as Los Angeles to Melbourne, while providing our customers and employees with a more comfortable flying experience.”

This is the fourth 787-9 for United Airlines, in addition to the 12 787-8s the airline already has in service.

The 787-9 complements and extends the 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters) over the 787-8, the 787-9 is designed to fly up more passengers and cargo farther with the same exceptional fuel and environmental performance: 20 percent less fuel use and emissions than the airplanes they replace.

Photo: Boeing. The pictured Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N35953 (msn 36404) was handed over to United today (March 17).

United Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery only): AG Airline Slide Show

Boeing to also build the 787-9 in South Carolina

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) has announced the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has added Boeing South Carolina-built 787-9 Dreamliners to the company’s production certificate, PC 700. This allows Boeing to produce and deliver 787-9s from its South Carolina facility. 787-8 production was added to Boeing’s PC 700 certificate in July 2012.

The certificate is issued once an airplane manufacturer has demonstrated to the FAA that its facilities and quality management system meet the agency’s stringent safety and reliability requirements.

The addition of Boeing South Carolina’s 787-9 production to the Boeing production certificate follows a successful FAA Manufacturing Inspection District Office audit that validated the site’s compliance with the Boeing Quality Management System.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 787-9 G-VOOH (msn 37968) “Miss Chief” was delivered to Virgin Atlantic on February 4, 2015.

Virgin Atlantic aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

AG Staff Photographers

Boeing to expand the North Charleston, South Carolina facility

Boeing (Chicago) announced it will begin construction in the second half of 2014 on a new paint facility on its main campus in North Charleston, South Carolina. The company expects to begin painting fully assembled 787 Dreamliners in South Carolina in mid-2016.

Boeing logo

The approximately 230,000 square-foot (21,368 m2) facility will be used to apply customer liveries to Boeing South Carolina (BSC)-built 787s. Today all BSC-built 787s are flown to Fort Worth, Texas, for final paint and then flown back to South Carolina for customer delivery.

The company also announced it acquired access to a total of 468 acres (189 hectares) in North Charleston, S.C., to protect for potential future growth in South Carolina through a long-term lease with Palmetto Railways, a division of the S.C. Department of Commerce. In addition to the 267 acres (108 hectares) sold by the Charleston County Aviation Authority, another 201 acres (81 hectares) of land in North Charleston were purchased with state bond funds allocated to Boeing. Owned by Palmetto Railways, the land will be leased to Boeing under a long- term lease. The company has an option to purchase all of the 468 acres (189 hectares) at the end of the initial lease term at the end of 2027.

“This expansion makes future growth in North Charleston possible. While we expect to begin the permitting process immediately for this property, we have no specific plans for the land other than where we will locate the new paint facility,” said Jones.

As part of the site expansion, beginning in January 2014, Boeing will construct a new 10,000 square-foot (929.03 m2) fully equipped fire station at its main campus, which is expected to be operational by late 2014. The company will add a second autoclave in 2016 to support aftbody composite fabrication for previously announced 787 program rate increases.

“We’ve been busy here in South Carolina this year,” said Jones. “Our BSC teammates have not only been ramping to rate in component and airplane production, but they’re doing it in the middle of construction zones. Our commitment to South Carolina is visibly demonstrated every day as our growth and expansion continues. I don’t expect that ending anytime soon.”

Since late 2012, Boeing has been expanding its main South Carolina site to create more efficiencies and capabilities in production to meet committed 787 build rates. Under previously announced expansion plans, the company is adding 391,000 square feet (36,325 m2) to its aftbody fabrication and assembly building; 42,000 square feet (3,901.9 m2) to its aft and midbody component paint facility; 67,000 square feet (6,224.5 m2) in office and meeting space to its final assembly building; and a new 94,000 square-foot (8,732.9 m2) Dreamlifter Operations Center, to be completed in the first quarter of 2014. The midbody component assembly facility is undergoing construction to add additional capacity and efficiency on the production floor.

In 2013, Boeing announced plans to establish IT Centers of Excellence and an Engineering Design Center, along with plans to build a new Propulsion facility in South Carolina. In November, Boeing broke ground on the new 220,000 square-foot (2,0439 m2) facility located in Palmetto Commerce Park in North Charleston (Ladson area) that will house its new 737-MAX propulsion assembly work, scheduled to begin in mid-2015.

Boeing is currently considering offers from 22 states for a possible site to build the proposed 777X airplane. South Carolina is probably one of those states. Is Charleston International Airport (CHS) the new Paine Field (PAE)?

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing flight line at CHS and the customer acceptance building.