Friday, January 24, 2014

Boeing adding up to 1,000 workers in North Charleston

Boeing is adding as many as 1,000 contract workers at its North Charleston, S.C., plant to help overcome production problems with its 787 Dreamliner jets, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. The company is hiring more than 300 inspectors and mechanics at the factory, the paper reports, citing three sources familiar with the situation. The number of workers hired could rise to as much as 1,000.

The news comes amidst production struggles at the South Carolina plant, which the Journal says the aerospace giant hopes can assemble a third of the 120 Dreamliners it plans to produce this year. Last year, the North Charleston plant assembled 14 of 65 total Dreamliners delivered, the paper said.

Questions of productivity problems came into play recently as Boeing took bids from Charlotte and other cities around the country hoping to house Boeing's new 777X jet manufacturing plant. Union officials in Boeing's Seattle-area manufacturing stronghold pointed to the production issues in South Carolina as a key reason why the next plant should stay in Washington state.

Charlotte had offered to assemble 405 acres inside and adjacent to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, but Boeing officials turned the city's proposal down. After machinists in Boeing's Seattle-area manufacturing stronghold agreed to contract concessions, company officials said early this month that they will build the 777X in Washington state.