Boeing Brings Back Retirees to Bust Through Bottleneck

According to one union official, the hope is that the old guard can help fix the bottleneck.

Production problems at Boeing's 737 plant in Renton, Washington, have forced the world's largest planemaker to get creative with its hiring practices.

According to a Reuters report, Boeing reached an agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in mid-August, and has since started rehiring retired inspectors and mechanics. According to one union official, the hope is that the old guard can help fix the bottleneck.

The problem was caused by a shortage of engines and fuselages that resulted from the company pushing production to record levels in June.

According to Reuters, Boeing has already sent 600 employees to the Renton facility. Right now, the company reportedly has about 50 unfinished 737s sitting around the plant as it tries to work out supply chain problems with Spirit AeroSystems and CFM International. Spirit is the Kansas-based fuselage manufacturer, and CFM, a joint venture between GE and Safran, is responsible for the engines.

There has been no additional word on how many retirees will be returning to work, although a spokesman did say that they will help "ensure timely deliveries."

Despite the bottlenecks, the company still plans to meet full-year delivers of 810 to 815 airplanes. According to a report in the Financial Times, 737 production is expected to grow from 52 per month now to 57 in 2019.

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