scorecard
  1. Home
  2. life
  3. news
  4. A union for Boeing workers is set to give them training on whistleblower laws, saying staff are being punished for speaking out

A union for Boeing workers is set to give them training on whistleblower laws, saying staff are being punished for speaking out

Pete Syme   

A union for Boeing workers is set to give them training on whistleblower laws, saying staff are being punished for speaking out
  • Boeing could be set to face more whistleblowers.
  • A union for engineers at the firm is offering free training on federal whistleblower laws.

Boeing could be set to face more whistleblowers because a labor union for engineers at the firm is offering guidance to its representatives on whistleblowing laws.

In a Wednesday post on its website, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) announced a Zoom webinar with free training on federal whistleblower laws.

The training is open for the union's shop stewards at Boeing and its supplier Spirit AeroSystems, which manufactured the door plug that came off an Alaska Airlines 737 Max in January.

It will be led by attorneys from Katz Banks Kumin, the law firm representing Boeing whistleblower Sam Salehpour.

SPEEA said it organized the training because it has spent two years "unsuccessfully trying to negotiate strong anti-retaliation language with the Boeing Co. in particular."

"Strong anti-retaliation measures are necessary because SPEEA members continue to report being punished by their managers for speaking up about quality and safety concerns," it added.

The union hopes the seminar will help those who are considering speaking up about problems at the planemakers but don't trust internal systems.

"When we find issues, we go as far as standing down a team to make sure that everybody on the team or everybody in the area is aware of the issue," Mike Fleming, a senior vice president at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement given to Reuters.

Salehpour, who's been an aerospace engineer for 40 years, went public with his concerns about Boeing in April. He said he observed "shortcuts employed by Boeing to reduce bottlenecks during the 787 assembly process."

In a Senate hearing last month, Salehpour said Boeing threatened him and other engineers to keep quiet about safety concerns.

Boeing has denied that Salehpour's allegations present safety issues. "We continue to monitor these issues under established regulatory protocols and encourage all employees to speak up when issues arise. Retaliation is strictly prohibited at Boeing," it said in a statement after Salehpour's comments.

The prospect of more Boeing employees coming forward with safety concerns could further harm the planemaker's reputation. Public awareness of the firm's problems has been heightened by the deaths of two whistleblowers in recent months.

The crisis at Boeing could also escalate further. The Justice Department said in a Tuesday court filing that Boeing is "subject to prosecution," alleging that it broke the terms of a 2021 agreement related to the deaths of 346 people in two 737 Max 8 crashes.




Advertisement