Boeing bringing back its retired workers to catch up on 737 production

Published: September 11, 2018 13:07:45 | Updated: September 12, 2018 16:50:29


Boeing's new 737 MAX-9 is pictured under construction at their production facility in Renton, Washington, US on February 13, 2017 — Reuters/File

The Boeing Company is bringing retired workers back on the job as the world’s largest planemaker tries to fix delays at its 737 jetliner plant outside Seattle, a union official told Reuters news agency on Monday.

The snarl at its plant in Renton, Washington, triggered by shortages of engines and fuselages as Boeing sped production to record levels in June, is likely to hurt third-quarter results and threatens its goal to boost build rates again in 2019, some analysts said after meetings in the Seattle area last week.

Single-aisle aircraft like the hot-selling 737 and Airbus A320 families are the cash cows of the world’s two largest aircraft manufacturers.

Investors will get a peek on Tuesday at how far behind Boeing is when it releases its order and delivery tallies for August, a month after deliveries fell to the lowest level in years. Deliveries are crucial to planemakers because that is when airlines pay most of what they owe for the aircraft.

Boeing started hiring retired mechanics and inspectors on a temporary basis after reaching an agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers on August 15, union spokeswoman Connie Kelliher said. Boeing had a similar agreement with the union last autumn following a round of voluntary layoffs, Kelliher said.

Boeing has already deployed about 600 employees and new hires to Renton in recent weeks to help fix delays, analysts said. It was not clear how many retired workers Boeing intends to hire.

 

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