Undercover report: North Charleston workers express concerns over 787 quality controls

Undercover video shows 10 of 15 workers wouldn't fly on North Charleston-made Dreamliners

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In a documentary produced by Al Jazeera, set to air on Wednesday, the network reports on leaked internal documents and undercover first-hand accounts from Boeing South Carolina workers who express concerns over the safety of Boeing's newest and biggest passenger jet, the 787 Dreamliner.

The documentary entitled Broken Dreams, teased on the Al Jazeera website this week, shows North Charleston workers, reportedly filmed while on the job via an undercover camera, expressing worry over the flight safety of the Dreamliner, quality control on the assembly line, and concern over drug use by other Boeing South Carolina employees. The undercover Q&As anecdotally found that 10 of 15 Boeing employees would not fly on the company's new flagship airliner.

In a separate promo video made available on YouTube briefly by Al Jazeera this morning, Boeing senior officials cut short an interview with the network when pressed on worker concerns and leaked internal memos showing Boeing officials reportedly "altered its quality standards at a time when the 787 was already two years delayed."

The Dreamliner has been plagued with issues in the past few years as Boeing delivers the new jet to commercial airlines. Problems with the plane's batteries forced the FAA to ground all 787s for four months last year, and general production issues have been a source of controversy around Boeing facilities in Everett, Washington and North Charleston.

One former engineers union official and former Boeing engineer told Al Jazeera, "they're short-changing the engineering process to meet a schedule."

Boeing declined to comment on specifics about the company's "proprietary production process," but noted that the leaked report does conclude with an advisory to not accept or ship parts "which do not meet engineering and quality requirements."

The Al Jazeera documentary airs tomorrow, with repeat showings later in the week.


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