IAM District 751 Verification Optimization (V.O.) Representatives have been pushing Boeing to reintroduce critical inspections ever since the company eliminated them with their Verification Optimization plan in 2018. Their efforts are now starting to come to fruition as Boeing is reinstating important inspections on specific packages throughout the airplane production process, which resulted in the recall of many of our laid-off inspectors.
These restored inspections will not only provide long-term integrity to the production process, it will also help alleviate the difficult position mechanics were put in under the Verification Optimization plan. Mechanics were often left unaware that inspections were removed and weren’t provided the necessary training on how this would impact their roles and responsibilities.
“Credit goes to the relentless efforts of our Union V.O. Reps, who have fought daily to get these decisions reversed and investigate each area where inspections were removed,” said IAM District 751 President Jon Holden. “I appreciate how thorough they are, and the fact that they continue to dig to get an accurate picture in each area they investigate rather than simply accepting Boeing’s explanation. These knowledgeable union reps all have extensive backgrounds in QA. As we said before, this will be a long battle, but one that we will continue to fight.”
“The Leadership of District Lodge 751 takes quality and job security seriously,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “We applaud their efforts on bringing back inspections to preserve product quality and providing job security for their membership. They are a shining example of being proactive in preserving the integrity of their jobs, which is a foundational principle of our organization.”
When Boeing announced its Verification Optimization plan, it cut thousands of inspections from their production process. District 751 objected and, as a result of effects bargaining, IAM V.O. Representatives were appointed to these new full-time positions. Effects bargaining also afforded IAM V.O. Representatives access to data in areas where inspections are being removed and the ability to propose reinstating inspections where it’s determined they are necessary for the production process.
Last fall, V.O. Reps helped get inspections restored on thousands of close tolerance holes. As more inspections are reinstated, Boeing must staff IAM inspectors proportionately to meet production demand.
“This has been a long process, and through the actions of our V.O. Reps we are fighting back and continually raising questions,” said IAM V.O. Representative Lloyd Catlin.