MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Boeing engineers allege retaliation over safety concerns

Apr 23, 2024, 2:38 PM

Boeing production floor...

Boeing production floor in Everett. (Photo: Bill Kaczaraba/MyNorthwest)

(Photo: Bill Kaczaraba/MyNorthwest)

Two engineers from Boeing’s Everett facility have alleged retaliation by the company’s management after they insisted on a re-evaluation of work on the 787 and 777 airliners in 2022, according to a claim from the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) union.

The engineers argued that the work needed to be reviewed under a new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advisory. However, Boeing resisted, citing increased costs and potential delays. Despite the pushback, the analysis was eventually carried out.

Following the review, both engineers received identical negative evaluations during their performance reviews. One of the engineers has since left the company, while the SPEEA union has filed a National Labor Relations Board complaint on behalf of the other.

Whistleblower: Boeing involved in ‘criminal cover-up’

The case involves the Organization Delegation Authorization (ODA) process, which allows Boeing employees to certify the company’s work on behalf of the FAA. The two engineers, acting under ODA authority, insisted on using a different set of assumptions in the analysis of the on-board computer networks on Boeing 777s and 787s to comply with the new FAA guidance.

After nearly six months of debate, the engineers, backed by the FAA, prevailed, and Boeing re-did the required analysis.

One engineer filed a complaint which Boeing is required to respond to. SPEEA is currently seeking access to this report to appeal the remaining engineer’s negative performance review.

More on safety: Boeing put under Senate scrutiny during back-to-back hearings on aircraft maker’s safety culture

SPEEA Director of Strategic Development, Rich Plunkett, stated, “Whether it’s capital R ‘Retaliation’ or not, the fact remains that the two ODA-designated SPEEA members did the right thing and stuck to their guns despite heavy pressure from Boeing, and then got hit with career-damaging performance reviews. This helps show why Boeing doesn’t have a healthy safety culture.”

KIRO Newsradio has reached out to Boeing for comment. The case continues to unfold.

Heather Bosch is an award-winning anchor and reporter on KIRO Newsradio. You can read more of her stories here. Follow Heather on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her here.

Contributing: Bill Kaczaraba, MyNorthwest

MyNorthwest News

Photo: Ultrasound of Akenji's baby. Akenji is a gorilla at the Woodland Park Zoo....

Julia Dallas

Woodland Park Zoo shares ultrasound pictures of popular animal for the first time

For the first time in its 125-year history, the Woodland Park Zoo has shared ultrasound pictures of this animal.

9 hours ago

Photo: A Washington State ferry pulls up to the dock on March 29, 2020 in Edmonds, Washington....

Julia Dallas

Why were Washington ferries out of service this weekend?

It's been a tough Memorial Day weekend for those using Washington ferries as many travelers have been faced with cancellations.

11 hours ago

Photo: Seattle detectives are looking for a vehicle involved in a deadly hit-and-run that happened ...

Julia Dallas

Seattle detectives looking for vehicle involved in deadly hit-and-run

Seattle detectives are looking for a vehicle involved in a deadly hit-and-run that happened in the Denny Triangle neighborhood Friday.

12 hours ago

Photo: Seattle police are investigating a deadly shooting that happened in Pioneer Square....

Julia Dallas

Seattle officers investigate deadly shooting

Police are investigating a deadly Seattle shooting that happened Saturday around 11:15 p.m. in Pioneer Square.

14 hours ago

Photo: King County deputies are searching for this suspect in connection to an assault on a Sound T...

Louie Tran, KIRO 7 News

King County deputies search for suspect in connection to Sound Transit light rail attack

King County deputies are searching for a woman in connection to an assault on a Sound Transit light rail on April 21.

15 hours ago

Image:A portrait of Officer Vancouver Police Department officer Donald Sahota is displayed as he is...

The Associated Press

Man convicted of murder in death of Vancouver police officer shot by deputy

A Yakima man was found guilty of murder for his role in the death of a Vancouver police officer who was shot by a sheriff's deputy in error.

1 day ago

Boeing engineers allege retaliation over safety concerns