Friday, November 30, 2012

Is Boeing-SPEEA contract talks slowing down 787 work?

Boeing and SPEEA are in the midst of trying to negotiate a new contract with Boeing just yesterday saying that they will seek federal mediation in the contract negotiations.  However in recent weeks it has become very noticeable that the 787s that are on the flightline aren't flying that much despite many of these airplanes being outside for weeks and many that should have taken their B-1 flights have not made their first flight.

SPEEA has encouraged its members to take workplace actions such as slow downs and rejection of voluntary overtime.  These workplace actions may be the reason why there has been a drop off in flight and ground testing activity on the deliverable 787s at Everett.  I count at least 6 aircraft that haven't had any recent flight activity or has been out on the flightline for some time but have yet to take a first flight (this includes one aircraft in the paint hangar as of this morning). Boeing engineers are needed not just for design and production of the aircraft but are also for the pre-delivery ground and flight testing to resolve issues prior to delivery to the customer.

These workplace actions won't be enough to stop production and delivery but can significantly slow the delivery process down.  SPEEA members hasn't taken a vote, yet, on whether to authorize a strike but with the current contract expired and the negotiations deadlocked, it may not be too long before that happens.  If and when that happens then it is up to the leadership at SPEEA to call a strike and then all bet are off and production at Boeing's commercial aircraft plants will drastically slow down. 

In the event of a strike by SPEEA, Boeing will probably turn to management engineers to fill the void but that will probably still won't be enough. IAM751 has a current contract with Boeing but I'm not sure if they would honor a picket line by SPEEA or not.  As mentioned earlier, Boeing is asking for federal mediation in the contract talks so we'll have to see how that plays out.

29 comments:

entrophian said...

Yeah I have noticed the slow down, but this is the 787 after all, some good months some really bad in its history.

They wont deliver as many as we hoped going by the current activity. however they reached the promised 35, that is better than earlier years.

Uresh said...

The slow down is not programmatic is the main point but is corporate.

Andrew Munsell said...

It looks like Boeing and United won't make the 787 delivery target for November by 1 but if 3 get delivered in December then they will be 1 ahead of schedule. They still have a couple more hours though

Uresh said...

Yes, UAL accordingto their company filings are to have 5 by the end of the year. They currently have 3 but I don't think they'll have three delivered nest month. It'll be 2. Boeing has the deliveries to other customers also to do and only have a finite number of resources to prepare these airplanes for testing and delivery.

Andrew Munsell said...

Ok, I was basing the three more possible deliveries from your earlier post. I think that if they were able to deliver the 4th last week they would have a better chance of 6 this year.

ET_Pilot777 said...

Hello Mr Uresh! Fascinating world of airline financing. keep u the good work. Happy Friday!!

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/29/ethiopian-leasing-notes-idUSL1E8MSAZE20121129

Randy Austin said...

UAL ZA289(55)flew a B-1 on the
21st and hasn't flow since, so either it has some issues or they're just waiting for the UAL crew to show up for the C-1.

TurtleLuv said...

In Matt Cawby's latest flight line pic, now that all the 747's are actively being worked on and out of the way, you can see what I'm guessing is an unpainted 737 parked on the tower apron. Does anyone know what plane this is, and whats its story?

- Turtle, 747-8 Report

nskiwi said...

I called this ages ago that it will end up like this, I really hope it dosnt end in a strike but I have a feeling it will and how long for??? wasnt the last one about 6 weeks or so? Qatar are expecting 5 787 by years end, if they dont get them then you can count on them speaking their minds as usual. Uresh, are you able to tell us if you know how far apart Boeing and SPEEA are towards new contracts, is SPEEA asking for too much or is Boeing cutting them short in your opinion if you have one? ultimately they cant afford to have another hold up like this if they go on strike.

Fedupjohn said...

Uresh,

I was reading you tweets and came across this retweet.

"Paine Airport‏@mattcawby
ZA462 Qatar Airways 787 A7-BCK airworthy at 1659z"

Does this mean that Boeing is finished with test flights on this frame and the next step is Customer acceptance flights?

Thanks for your site.

Uresh said...

This was a B-2 flight. Assuming there were no issues that would require another Boeing test flight, the next test flight(s) should be customer test flight(s).

LCRANSTON0 said...

...Boeing but I'm not sure if they would honor a picket line by SPEEA or not.

Under both the IAM contract and the SPEEA contract, neither ***can ***honor then picket line of the other.


However,and as what happened in the past, the side still working can go ON the picket line during lunch AND also work to rule. When SPEEA went out in 2000, IAM folks lined up in the factory during break and cheered the SPEEA members who walked out in mass at the agreed on time to start the strike- publicized a day or so in advance.

Without AR ( used to be DER) types who are mostly members of SPEEA, it will be difficult to impossible to deliver very many planes after a few days on strike.

Boeing has NOT learned from history- and seems to be using the Jack welch- harry stonecipher playbook re unions-

Insanity is doing the same thing again and expecting different results.

Thats NOT covered in the Power point ranger course.

LCRANSTON0 said...

As to
SPEEA v Boeing

read

http://www.speea.org/Bargaining_Units/PS_Prof_Tech_Unit.html

and Boeing

http://boeing.com/speea-negotiations/113012_message.html

kvde2k said...

Well then maybe SPEEA will be satisfied when Boeing starts to move the production to China were they don't have to deal with this shit.

matt said...

@kvde2k. This sh*t of individuals banding together to win fair treatment that they cannot hope to win one-on-one may be very irritating. However, sadly, Boeing would put an unwanted kink in their umbilical from DOD, if they were to turn to China's repressive labor markets to ease their burden in this regard.

Randy Austin said...

The "airworthy" call was made on ZA462's B-1 on Nov 24th not the B-2 flight on Dec 1st. If you listen you'll hear every Boeing B-1 flight make an "airworthy" call shortly after takeoff.

Uresh said...

And I have ZA462's B-1 flight listed as 11/24 so I don't understand what your point is?

Fedupjohn said...

Thanks guys,

I just never knew why Matt Tweeted some flights and not all. BTW, the tweet I wss referencing was after the 11/24 B-1 flight.

Randy Austin said...

In your answer to Fedupjohn you had called it a B-2

"This was a B-2 flight. Assuming there were no issues that would require another Boeing test flight, the next test flight(s) should be customer test flight(s)."

Uresh said...

I was talking about the Dec. 2 flight of that aircraft!!!!! I know what a B-1 flight and a B-2 flight is.

Randy Austin said...

Sorry, I guess I was a bit confused when you told Fedupjohn the "airworthy" call was from a B-2 flight. I was just trying to let people who weren't knowledgeable about the "airworthy" call know it only occurs on B-1 flights.

HK Expat said...

Does anyone have eyes in Charleston?
Should be a busy week down there.
VT-ANL is due for its C-1
VT-ANM is due for its B-1
HAI/76 should be making its way out the doors.
Cheers
A

graeme77 said...

Does anyone know the reason for the United 787 diverting and declaring an emergency?

Kevin Flanagan said...

Sounds like ghosts in the machine

http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2019825592_united787emergencyxml.html

A person with knowledge of the incident said the pilot observed “multiple messages” indicating some system errors, and decided to divert “out of an abundance of caution.”

Kevin Flanagan said...

Ouch, Double whammy today, now fuel line clamp inspections are being ordered.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/05/us-united-787-diversion-idUSBRE8B318K20121205?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=t.co

Uresh said...

I don't thnk that either issue is going to be a long term problem. You always get the FAA issuing airwothiness directives on different aircraft and it will continue to happen.

bsee67 said...

We know that if ANA and JAL have had the fuel line problem, the planes were not assembled in Charleston despite Bloomberg and Lori Gunter
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-1...aa-to-require-jet-inspections.html

graeme77 said...

Air India ZA240 is in the air. Could that mean something...?

Uresh said...

Possibly but there has been an uptick in 787 flight activity at both Charleston and Everett this week.