Boeing Eliminates Some Contractor Positions in South Carolina

Boeing Co. (BA) is cutting some contractor jobs in North Charleston, South Carolina, where it employs about 6,000 workers to build the 787 Dreamliner.

“As this site improves efficiencies, employees are trained and the experience grows, you reduce your reliance on contract labor,” said Marc Birtel, a spokesman at the company’s commercial headquarters in Seattle. “This has been part of this site’s long-term plan.”

Boeing continues to make five 787 jets a month even as deliveries were halted after the model was grounded by regulators Jan. 16. U.S. and Japanese officials are investigating battery faults on two 787s last month that led to a fire and an emergency landing.

“It has nothing to do with the grounding,” Birtel said, referring to the reductions. “We’re not reducing production.”

Birtel declined to say how many contractors would lose their jobs. Boeing employs about 174,000 people worldwide and makes the 787 at the North Charleston factory, which opened in 2011, and at its main plant in Everett, Washington.

The job cuts were reported earlier today by the Wall Street Journal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Susanna Ray in Seattle at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at

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