Yesterday, in light of the FAA's decision to ground all Boeing 787s, we took a look back at the company's aggressive moves to outsource a lot of the engineering that used to take place in the Puget Sound.
Our story apparently made it over to England (thanks Daily Kos!), and prompted the wife of an engineer there to share her story.
While you'll see her husband wasn't employed by Boeing, it's still an engaging look at how outsourcing looks from the assembly line.
Here user name is legalnegligence. Here is her story:
"I'm Married to an Aerospace Engineer of 30 + years, most of which was spent at Flight Refuelling Systems, part of the Cobham Group.
Highly qualified in manufacturing parts for Rolls Royce engines, and Airbus, with a History of a Fitter, a CNC Programmer, Setter, Machine Operator. The son of a Spitfire Toolmaker, he had skills that are becoming lost.
He had his own workshop and apprentice, and worked Protoype and Design with 50 other Engineers.
He was the one Design Engineers came to when they wanted to make a one off, to try, and they'd work together. He would tell them whether it was possible and make test jigs etc.
Then the management in its wisdom decided to outsource his job, to save money.
The 50 Engineers wrote a letter to bosses, saying they couldn't do their job without him.
However, by this time, he'd decided he didn't want to stay where he was treated so poorly and paid so badly.
Wages in the UK in the Aerospace Industry have fallen so far behind due to 1% or thereabouts pay increases for over 20 years now. We were unable to live on his pay.
During his last few weeks he watched as Bosses outsourced a Test Jig, and without his knowledge this £250,000 item was made in the wrong metal. Outsourced to a Private Firm for the tests to be carried out, it was returned as dangerous.
UK & US Engineers of this Calibre understand the rules, the continuity, the fact that a batch of parts must all be made from the same piece of metal.
Treatments must be applied at a certain time in the process, or the whole lot has to be thrown away.
In the US & UK and Germany, we had skilled workers with vast experience and long time served apprenticeships, with a knowledge of what they were making and the importance of following these rules.
Outsourcing to China and others means there is no continuity anymore and is dangerous!
We are losing these skilled people due to outsourcing, Corporations demanding cost cutting.
He's left the Industry completely now working on the Ariane Space Rocket and in the Nuclear Industry, which is also poorly paid due to Corporate Greed and Bean Counters.
The US & UK have undervalued these people and are losing them, consequently we expect to see planes falling from the Sky on a weekly basis."