Texas AG Demands DEI Documents as Part of Probe Into Boeing Supplier

via yahoo.com

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched an investigation into Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc., his office announced Thursday, after “reocurring issues with certain airplane parts” given to the aircraft manufacturer.

As well as demanding “documents relevant to manufacturing defects” in Spirit’s products, Paxton has also requested records related to the company’s “diversity, equity, and inclusion (‘DEI’) commitments, and whether those commitments are unlawful or are compromising the company’s manufacturing processes,” his office said in a statement.

Spirit, which manufacturers the fuselages for Boeing’s 737 jets, has come under scrutiny in recent months amid a series of high-profile incidents involving Boeing aircraft. “On certain models of the 737, apparent manufacturing defects have led to numerous concerning or dangerous incidents, some of which occurred in-air,” Paxton’s office alleged.

One such midair incident took place in January, when a door plug blew out of a 737 Max 9 plane during an Alaska Airlines flight. A subsequent audit by the Federal Aviation Administration found “multiple instances” of both Boeing and Spirit failing to “comply with manufacturing quality control requirements.”

It’s not clear what role, if any, Paxton believes DEI policies may have contributed to the manufacturing issues. Some right-wing figures have sought to link DEI efforts with various safety incidents in the U.S. aviation industry.

In a letter to Spirit requesting documents, the Texas attorney general’s office asks for “all meeting minutes of Spirit’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Council(s),” as well as evidence to substantiate claims on the company’s DEI page that a “diverse workplace improves product quality and /or ‘enhance[s] performance’ and/or ‘helps [Spirit]… make better decisions.”

Paxton also asked for documents to show Spirit’s “employee demographics for race, national origin, sexual orientation, and age” before the company’s DEI policy was enacted, and the same workforce demographic information as of Jan. 1, 2024.

A Spirit spokesperson told Axios on Thursday that while they cannot comment on any investigations, the company is “wholly focused on providing our customers with the best quality product.”