Non-Union Labor Trumps May Day Discontent

As the logistics and supply chain community braces for disruptions caused by May Day demonstrations, it’s heartening to learn that free market forces are still running the show

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As the logistics and supply chain community braces for disruptions caused by May Day demonstrations, it’s heartening to learn that free market forces are still running the show.

The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner to be assembled in South Carolina rolled out of final assembly last week to great fanfare from the crowd of nearly 7,000 non-union Boeing employees and invited guests.

The festival-like atmosphere, featuring aerial displays, music and entertainment, was a fitting celebration to commemorate assembly completion of the first 787 built at the North Charleston, S.C., facility.

The airplane’s rollout marks the first time that a Boeing commercial airplane has been produced in the Southeastern United States. “This is a proud moment for Boeing as we roll out an airplane from our third final assembly site,” said Jim Albaugh, president and chief executive officer, Commercial Airplanes. “Today I welcome the South Carolina team into a small and elite fraternity – a fraternity of workers who have built one of the most complex machines in the world – a commercial airplane.”

Boeing announced that it had selected North Charleston, S.C., as the location for the second 787 final assembly line on Oct. 28, 2009, and broke ground on the site in November of that year. The South Carolina final assembly facility was completed in June 2011, and production began later that same month.

“Every one of our South Carolina teammates should be extremely proud of this historic accomplishment,” said Jack Jones, Boeing South Carolina vice president and general manager. “This team has shown that we can build airplanes in South Carolina that meet the high Boeing quality standards, and do so with an exceptional workplace safety record.”


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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