Boeing lays off thousands of employees as part of 10% cutback

The Boeing Co. was born in Seattle, but today its corporate headquarters is in Chicago. (Boeing Photo)

As part of its plan for a 10% workforce reduction, Boeing says that it’s moved from voluntary layoffs to involuntary layoffs and is sending out the first 6,770 notices this week. “I wish there were some other way,” Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun told employees in an email.

  • Boeing says the cutbacks are required to cope with changes in the aviation industry brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the layoffs will be effective July 31. This week’s notices come after about 5,520 employees were approved for voluntary layoffs.
  • Although the overall job reduction will eventually amount to roughly 10% of Boeing’s 160,000-plus employees, a company spokesperson said “deeper reductions are in areas that are most exposed to the condition of our commercial customers,” as opposed to defense and space operations. About 9,840 employees in Washington state, where most of Boeing’s commercial airplanes are built, will be leaving the company due to voluntary or involuntary layoffs.
  • In his email, Calhoun said he saw signs that “some green shoots” were emerging in the aviation industry, with some customers reporting that air reservations are outpacing cancellations for the first time since the pandemic started. But this isn’t the end of the layoffs. Several thousand additional employees are expected to be laid off over the next few months.

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