Employees at a Boeing factory in South Carolina have come forward with claims that they were pressured into increasing production rates at the risk of safety oversights, according to a new report by The New York Times.
It comes following two fatal crashes of Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 planes this year, leading a to a worldwide grounding of the new commercial jet.
An investigative report by The New York Times says that the South Carolina factory that makes the 787 Dreamliner is run by a culture of “production speed over quality”.
The deep dive used hundreds of pages of internal emails, corporate documents and federal records, as well as interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees as evidence.
It found that workers had filed “nearly a dozen whistle-blower claims and safety complaints with federal regulators, describing issues like defective manufacturing, debris left on planes and pressure to not report violations”.
A technician at the North Charleston plant in South Carolina, Joseph Clayton said he regularly found debris left dangerously close to wiring underneath the cockpits.
“I’ve told my wife that I never plan to fly on it,” he told The Times.
The quality concerns out of South Carolina have even prompted Qatar Airways to no longer accept planes from that particular factory.
Boeing is now being questioned about whether the race to get the MAX finished led it to miss safety risks in the design such as the anti-stall system that was reportedly a factor in both crashes this year.
The New York Time’s expose was heavily refuted by the site leader at Boeing’s South Carolina factory, Brad Zaback who claimed the report was “offensive and inaccurate”.
- READ: “We’re sorry for the lives lost”: Boeing takes responsibility for 737 crashes
- READ: Global fleet of 371 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft has been grounded until further notice
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