Boeing Workers Blame Lean for Shopfloor Cuts


    Press-Telegram – News:

    It sounds like a compelling argument from the union.

    “Jacki Harris, president of United Aerospace Workers Local 148, said she agrees with the Boeing concept of lean manufacturing, but job cuts shouldn't just come from the hourly side of the ledger.

    ‘I understand their practice and theory, but they are creating jobs over here in salaried positions all the time. That's why I'm not happy,' Harris said. ‘If you're gonna cut, you have to cut some salaried people, too. They need to practice lean in management, too.'”

    I've seen the Boeing “5S” Video, but I've never seen the Boeing “motivate people and your lean efforts by doing hourly layoffs every time your customer asks for a lower price” video. ;-)

    Seriously, I think everyone knows by now that true lean, continuous improvement, engaged workforce kind of improvements will NOT continue if management cuts heads, whether it's the result of kaizen efforts or just because management wants to “cut costs”.

    The article doesn't say program volumes are going down, that's about the only good reason to have to cut heads. It just says the government demands a lower cost. Thank you government.

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    Mark Graban
    Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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