The week ended with the entire Boeing employee group getting a message from corporate CEO Jim McNerney concerning the grounding of the 787; and a message to company engineers from the union, SPEEA, outlining the preparations for a strike vote.
First, McNerney’s message:
The 787 and our commitment to safety
I’m confident in the 787 because I’m confident in Boeing people.
This week the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and international regulatory agencies temporarily suspended 787 commercial flights in response to two widely reported in-service incidents with the airplane’s batteries that have called into question the safety of the 787 fleet.
As everyone inside the company knows, nothing is more important to us than the safety of the passengers, pilots and crew members who fly aboard Boeing commercial and military aircraft. We also understand the importance of maintaining the confidence of customers and the flying public in the safety of the overall global air transportation system and the Boeing products that operate within it.
We have high confidence in the safety of the 787 and stand squarely behind its integrity as the newest addition to our product family. We are working around the clock to support the FAA, our customers, and others in the investigations, and we’ve committed to make available all Boeing resources to help find answers as quickly as possible. In short, in the days ahead, we will take the steps necessary to assure our customers and their passengers of the 787’s safety and to return the airplanes to service.
Despite the negative news attention over the past several days, I remain tremendously proud of employees across the company for the decade of effort that has gone into designing, developing, building, and delivering the most innovative commercial airplane ever imagined. Since entering service 15 months ago, the 787 fleet has completed 18,000 flights and 50,000 flight hours with eight airlines, carrying more than 1,000,000 passengers safely to destinations around the world. While the 787’s dispatch reliability rate is on par with the best-in-class introduction of the 777, we will not be satisfied until the 787 meets the even higher standard of performance we set for it and promised to our customers.
My confidence in the future of the 787 is underpinned by my trust and confidence in you, the men and women of Boeing who have worked so hard, for so long, to deliver this game-changing new airplane to the world’s airlines. Time and again, you have risen to both the challenges inherent to fundamental innovation, and the day-to-day problem-solving that is part of every new product introduction.
As we learn more about the specific events in question and the plan to return to flight, we will be sure to pass them along to you. Until then, keep up the great work on behalf of our customers and Boeing.
Below is a message from SPEEA to its members:
The SPEEA Northwest Bargaining Unit Councils will meet Tuesday to formally authorize printing and mailing the contract ballots to SPEEA members. Ballots will go out to approximately 15,550 employees in the Professional Unit (engineers) and 7,400 employees in the Technical Unit. It will take several days for printing and mailing after the Councils authorize the ballots. Members then have 10 days to cast their vote. (If this schedule holds counting by the Northwest Tellers would be Feb. 7.)
Lunchtime meetings are being scheduled around Boeing worksites for Negotiation Team members to present the offers and their recommendations to SPEEA members.