On The Daily podcast, a former quality manager at Boeing describes safety concerns and efforts to report them. He is one of more than 12 employees the New York Times reporter interviewed who had raised issues internally and with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before the 737 MAX crashes—and dating back to the 787 Dreamliner, which was introduced in 2007.
Employees complained about debris left inside aircrafts, even as planes were going on test flights and getting ready for delivery, and about missing and doctored defective parts. The reporter describes a company under pressure taking serious safety shortcuts.
According to U.S. Department of Labor data, whistleblowers have little success. This chart shows a very small percentage of government-reported cases considered of “merit,” although in the table below the chart, the author tells us that cases that are “settled” or “settled other” (a nonstandard procedure) should also be considered winners. Still, it’s a small percentage in light of what it takes to come forward to file a complaint.
What’s your view of Boeing? Some employees say they felt proud when they first worked at the company, and now they are embarrassed. How, if at all, does this news change your perception of the company?
What does it take to be a whistleblower? What is at stake, and what are the potential rewards?
Assess the chart. Who is the audience, and what are the communication objectives? How could you change the chart to improve readability? For example, consider how the 3D effect might change how we interpret the data.