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Boeing Blames “Stu” for 737 Max 9 Problems

In a public announcement late Sunday, Boeing apologized for the recent problems with the 737 Max 9 plane and pointed the finger at Geoffrey Stuart Masters, Jr., an assembly line worker. According to the details provided in the announcement, “Stu”, as his fellow assembly line workers call to him whenever he enters a room or factory floor, is a jovial twenty-seven-year veteran of the Boeing company, has been part of the assembly of 747, 777, and 737 planes, is a member of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and has failed to file accurate inspection reports related to bolts on door plugs. This announcement comes on the heels of several lawsuits filed since the additional escape door was unintentionally opened during a flight in January. That problem was caused by loose or missing bolts to hold that additional escape door in place. Apparently Alaska Airlines also forgot to pay for the additional safety feature of “bolt tightening” when it ordered the planes. In the announcement, Boeing clearly indicated that it chose not to fire Stu and instead will send him through a training program for “bolt tension and tightening” and “report filing” courses to address the issues. There is no mention of whether Stu's union membership was a factor in the decision. In interviews with other assembly workers though, no one named “Stu” is known to exist leading to speculation that Stu was invented by the company to redirect blame for corporate mismanagement, quality control problems, and lackadaisical assembly techniques and oversight from Boeing's corporate leaders. Boeing's stock price rose 3% before the Monday morning exchange opening on the announcement.