Having worked for Boeing over 5 years as a Flight Test Manufacturing Engineer has led me to face challenges with partner and supplier integration. One year, I worked on a program where engine work was partially being done in Boeing South Carolina, before it was brought into Puget Sound. The problem with the work being done in South Carolina was that there was no accepted support from Puget Sound due to South Carolina being a right-to-work state.
This conflict caused South Carolina to have limited support from both SPEEA and IAM. Work that was taking place would generally be done by IAM, had to be accomplished by another Boeing approved mechanic. In most cases, as a regular SPEEA member, I could simply “do my job” and let Boeing take the reins on who would be performing the work, determine who needed access to what system and training. However, the impact of that could be two or three-tier.
I contacted South Carolina and Boeing to collaborate the requirements and discussed to the necessary individuals who would be responsible for performing the work. Later, St. Louis Mechanics and Engineering were selected to take this responsibility. Once we had all the right people identified, I was selected to travel to South Carolina on short notice to tie in with the team and help them understand the build plan. Although many SPEEA members may be upset at a story based on the loss of work (regardless of that work being in a right-to-work state), I have to do what’s right and remain professional about the engineering that still has a schedule to follow.