New Boeing SC GM sounds off on unions and future plans
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Tuesday, Boeing opened its doors for a behind the scenes look at its facility.
The company employs more than 6,000 people at its North Charleston sites, and every month, it pumps out three 787 Dreamliners and 10 middle and aft sections for the planes.
"Nobody would've thought we'd be building aircraft with this level of productivity and quality so early in the game," Beverly Wyse, the incoming General Manager and Vice President of the SC site said.
Wyse is replacing Jack Jones who is retiring. At Boeing in Washington, she managed the 737 line, which produced a record 42 planes a month.
Boeing's goal in South Carolina is to be at seven Dreamliners a month and 14 sections.
Right now, it has a backlog of 1,017 Dreamliners, so if an airline ordered a plane today, they'd have to wait about eight years to pick it up.
"You bring up the one area that we have to keep working on which is ensuring that we're able to meet our customers' demands when they need the aircraft," Wyse said.
Boeing says the backlog isn't just a bad thing. It says it shows a high demand and stability in years to come.
"We're very comfortable where we stand with the 787," Jack Jones said. "It's not going to go away and it's going to be around for a very long time."
Unions have been a major talking point for Boeing recently. Tuesday, Wyse reestablished Boeing's position that they could play a factor in productivity.
"We don't believe that the unions are in the best interests of our teammates," Wyse said. "Clearly we've seen unions work at some of our sites. It's not that it can't be done it's is that in their best interest."
Now, Boeing is working on its new painting facility by the airport so it doesn't have to fly planes out of state to Louisiana or California, just another way to speed up production. The next step is to begin work soon on its new 787-Max model of the Dreamliner.
It expects the Dreamliner model to be in service for 30 to 40 years.
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