Labor Costs Unrelated to Decision to Build Version of Dreamliner in South Carolina, Boeing Says
By: Business Week August 04, 2014
Boeing will build the biggest version of its 787 Dreamliner family exclusively in South Carolina at a nonunion plant it built five years ago. It's part of an effort to lower labor costs, but the company said organized labor had nothing to do with its decision.
The 787-10 will become the first Boeing-designed commercial plane not to have an assembly home in the Seattle area, where Boeing has built airplanes since the first B & W seaplane took flight in 1916. The only previous exception was the 717, a 106-seat model Boeing acquired in its 1997 merger with McDonnell Douglas, which it assembled for less than eight years in Long Beach, Calif., before ending production of the plane.
Boeing said Wednesday that the placement of the 787-10 at its North Charleston, S.C., site had nothing to do with the role of organized labor and was dictated by the 10 extra feet in the 787-10′s midbody fuselage. That makes it “too long to be transported efficiently” from the plant aboard the modified 747 Dreamlifter Boeing uses to fly 787 sections from suppliers and smaller 787s from the East Coast plant to Washington State.