The Boeing Co has closed out the 757 commercial jet program with the last of the 1,050 jets to roll off the assembly line. \nT-shirts showing a 757 with the words, "Celebrate the Legacy," were worn by thousands of past and present Boeing workers on Thursday at a ceremony marking the end of two decades of production of the 200-passenger plane in this Seattle suburb. \n"A big chunk of my life has been spent on this program," said Clyde Brown, who worked on the 757 line from the start more than 22 years ago to the end. "That plane has been good to me." \nThe last 757 is scheduled for delivery to Shanghai Airlines in April. \nBrown and many other workers will now work on another plane that figured in the demise of the 757 -- the newest models of the 737, also made in Renton. No layoffs from the end of 757 production are planned. \nAlan Mulally, head of the company's commercial airplane division, said Boeing plans to "crank up" 737 production but gave no details. \nBoeing, based in Chicago, announced in July that after cutting more than 27,000 jobs in three years, about 3,000 workers will be hired in the Puget Sound region by Dec. 31. \nMany are in technical and engineering jobs for the 7E7 program in Everett and a military program to equip the 737 airframe as a Navy submarine-hunting aircraft. \nAny new hires for 737 production were factored into Boeing's employment forecast in July, a spokeswoman said. \nMulally was an engineer on the original design team for the 757 program, which was headed by Philip Condit, who went on to become chief executive of Boeing but resigned earlier this year in an uproar over the use of dubious methods to win government contracts. \nAt the ceremony Mulally noted that all but 20 of the 757s remain in service worldwide. \n"It has one of the great safety records of any plane in the world," he said. \nOne unique feature for Boeing was simultaneous design of the single-aisle 757 and the widebody 767, which is assembled in Everett. \nDespite differences in size and range, they were designed with common flight decks so pilots trained on one could fly the other with little additional training, resulting in big cost savings for airlines. \nSales of 757s reached a peak of 99 planes in 1992 but declined to 45 by 2000, then plummeted in the airline industry slump that followed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. \nTwo of the three planes seized by the terrorists were 757s. One hit the Pentagon and the other crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers stormed the cockpit. \nFactors in the end of the line for the 757 include development of bigger, more economical and longer-range 737 models, the 7E7 Dreamliner that Boeing plans to begin building in 2006 and competition from Airbus SAS. \nStill, Mulally said predicted that Boeing would be providing product support for the 757 for "the next 30 to 40 years."
More than 20,000 employees at Apple Inc supplier Foxconn Technology Group’s (富士康) huge Chinese plant, mostly new hires not yet working on production lines, have left, a Foxconn source familiar with the matter said yesterday. The departures from the world’s largest iPhone factory dealt a fresh blow to the Taiwanese company, which has been grappling with strict COVID-19 restrictions that have fueled worker discontent and disrupted production ahead of Christmas and January’s Lunar New Year holiday. Concerns are mounting over Apple’s ability to deliver products for the busy holiday period as the worker unrest lingers at the Zhengzhou plant, which produces the
FACTORY TUMULT: The departure of new workers impact production less than the quarantines imposed on existing employees, a worker at China’s ‘iPhone city’ said Turmoil at Apple Inc’s key manufacturing hub in Zhengzhou is likely to result in a production shortfall of almost 6 million iPhone Pro units this year, a person familiar with assembly operations said. The situation remains fluid at the plant and the estimate of lost production could change, the person said, asking not to be named discussing private information. Much depends on how quickly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the Taiwanese company that operates the facility, can get people back to assembly lines after violent protests against COVID-19 restrictions. If lockdowns continue in the weeks ahead, production could be set further
’INHERENT VULNERABILITIES’: The country has been working with the US to build its own lithium and rare earth mines in a bid to curb China’s dominance in the market Australia is vowing more assertive scrutiny of foreign investments in key commodities tied to electric vehicles and clean energy, in a potential warning to China which dominates the market. Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers has asked the country’s Treasury to work with the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board and other stakeholders to undertake a review of foreign investment in sectors such as lithium and rare earths, he told a conference in Sydney yesterday. “We’ll need to be more assertive about encouraging investment that clearly aligns with our national interest in the longer term,” Chalmers said. Although Chalmers did not directly identify China investment as
HOLIDAY SEASON OMEN: Low-cost brands and high-end retailers had the most foot traffic, leaving mid-range stores struggling on what used to be their biggest sales day US retailers discounted heavily on Black Friday to clear out bloated inventories, but customers responded with only modest traffic, leaving profitability in doubt for many chains. Brick-and-mortar retailers, which were hit hard by COVID-19 closures and shoppers seeking to avoid the virus, saw in-store traffic on Friday tick up 2.9 percent from last year’s shopping event, data compiled by Sensormatic Solutions showed. US consumers are still spending, but they are growing more cautious after contending this year with the highest inflation rates in four decades. They are also keeping a sharper lookout for deals, and retailers — many of them still heavy