Boeing Employees to Get Whistleblower Training From Their Union

Boeing Employees to Get Whistleblower Training From Their Union

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Photo: Celal Gunes/Anadolu (Getty Images)

Reuters reports that the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace locals that cover workers at Boeing and fuselage supplier Spirit AeroSystems will be holding trainings Friday to better equip their members on rules and regulations regarding whistleblowing.

The sessions come as Boeing is under tremendous scrutiny not only for its safety and quality standards, after a door plug blowout suffered in January by an Alaska Airlines-operated 737 Max 9 plane, but also because workers say the company treats their colleagues who speak up poorly.

Reuters also reports that Boeing has been holding meetings with employees this week to solicit feedback on how it runs its business.

“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 Airplane, told the outlet in a statement.

Longtime Boeing engineer Sam Salehpour, who has been raising alarms that 787 Dreamliner planes have a serious defect with their fuselages that might cause them to rip apart mid-air (an allegation Boeing denies), says that the company threatened him with termination and violence. Likewise, former Spirit AeroSystems employee Santiago Paredes said that the company demoted him after he raised concerns about 737 Max issues. Both companies say they don’t allow retaliation and welcome their employees to speak up.

Of the 171,000 people who work at Boeing, 57,000 of them are union members, according to its most recent 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commissions, the category that covers annual reports.

SPEEA represents the second-largest cohort of Boeing employees behind the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. It represents 10% of all unionized Boeing employees. It negotiated two contracts, one for “professional” workers, and one for “technical” workers. Both agreements expire in October of 2026.

This article originally appeared on Quartz.

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