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Boeing rehires retirees in effort to bolster 737 production force

Boeing has rehired some retired mechanics and taken other steps to bolster its headcount in Renton as part of a broad effort to ensure timely deliveries of 737s, the company says.

The moves come as Boeing works to recover from supplier-driven delays in delivery of key 737 components.

The airframer has "brought back a small number of recently-retired mechanics with certain skills" and is hiring new employees to "help with near-term airplane production requirements", Boeing says.

"We have dedicated additional resources to the Renton site to ensure timely deliveries to our customers," it adds.

Boeing now has about 10,000 staff working in three shifts at its 737 plant in Renton, including about 600 employees transferred to Renton from other nearby Boeing sites, it says.

The hiring comes after Boeing boosted 737 production earlier this year to 52 aircraft per month, up from 47. But the company has struggled with delivery delays, reportedly parking dozens of unfinished aircraft on the ground in Renton.

Boeing has not said how many unfinished 737s are awaiting completion.

Production has been impacted by delays from prime suppliers Spirit AeroSystems and CFM International, Boeing said this year.

CFM makes CFM56 turbofans for 737NGs and Leap powerplants for 737 Max, while Spirit supplies 737 fuselages.

"We are working closely with our suppliers Spirit and CFM as they track toward recovery," Boeing tells FlightGlobal. "Our team has been mitigating supplier delays, and our factory continues to build 52 airplanes per month."

Mechanics' union International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers says it struck a deal with Boeing in August permitted the company to hire the formerly-retired workers.

The company can employ former retirees for no more than 180 days, the union says.

Boeing has not said how many temporary staffers it intends to hire.

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