Sabotage at an aeroplane parts factory


An account of sabotage at a small manufacturing firm in California by Burt, a machinist


I worked for a small company called Gray's Manufacturing Company in Inglewood, California. They made specialised aeroplane parts for companies like Boeing and Lockheed. I was the low man on the totem pole, working for two rich brothers who were trying to outdo each other all the time. One brother had done really smart things with his money and had made good investments. But the other brother, who owned the company, was always losing his ass on small business ventures. He always put it off on his little brother who took his frustrations out on me. It was like passing the buck.

What it boiled down to was a really shitty job: deburring, which means cleaning the parts when they came off the machine. I had to run this big piece of sandpaper across each part five or six times, bore it with air and water, and check it with calipers. I had to wash my hands every time because if I got just one little piece of grit on my calipers, it didn't measure correctly. It's a really screwy job. They were charging the company a lot of money for these parts - about $25,000.

I was frustrated doing the work and having the boss come and check stuff that I knew was accurate. I would be frustrated because of the bad deals he was making, so he'd knock the parts around and make them so they weren't any good, and then blame me. If one part hits a certain place on another, it's not going to be any good. After he screwed up half of the parts I had done, I had to go through and figure out which ones were screwed up and fix them up just right. I got really tired of this and knew it was going to come out of my paycheck. So I thought, fuck it! I'm going to ruin every one of them.

I made it look as if the parts were okay. I took ten-thousandths of an inch off more than I should have, or I bored a hole wider than I was supposed to. Then I wrapped them up, packed them and got them ready for delivery. The boss didn't catch anything because I'd always make sure the top three in the batch were okay, and he'd only check those when they were packed. All the ones after the top three were screwed up. The company only got $4,000 worth of good parts out of a $25,000 job. It really ended up costing them a lot - probably $21,000, not including shipping - and what it cost to recall the parts. [It should be noted here that faulty parts would be rejected by the buyers, not be put into planes]

The pay was low, they treated me badly, they were running a shitty company, and their ethics were rotten. I still think they owe me for all the shit they put me through. I did really good work. They kept promising me a raise, but it never came. They ended up going out of business.

This is an edited extract from Sabotage in the American Workplace by Martin Sprouse taken from prole.info

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Posted By

libcom
Dec 29 2005 20:11

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