Boeing Lays-Off Hundreds Of Tech Staff

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Boeing has laid-off more than 1,000 employees of its Engineering, Operations and Technology division

Aerospace and defence contracting company Boeing gave 60-day layoff notices for 1,020 employees. The bulk of the layoffs will happen in both its Puget Sound, Wash., and Seal Beach, Calif., locations, as well as other U.S. offices. Many of the cuts are information technology workers in Boeing’s Engineering, Operations and Technology unit, according to news reports, and the layoffs will take effect on 23 April. In St. Louis, the cuts are affecting about 100 IT employees of Boeing’s Defense, Space and Security unit, said the St. Louis Business Journal.

“‘Most of the affected employees work in information technology as part of Boeing’s Engineering, Operations & Technology unit in Washington state and California,’ he [company spokesman Dan Beck] said. Their last day of work will be in April. This is part of Chicago-based Boeing’s [2009] plan to cut 10,000 jobs companywide, including about 1,000 jobs in the defense unit. Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security, led by Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg, is the second-largest employer in St. Louis with $33.7 billion (£22bn) in revenue in 2009 and 16,000 local workers.”

Chicago-based Boeing employs more than 157,000 workers worldwide and has seen a big year-over-year improvement in revenue and profit between 2008 and 2009 from strong defense contracts, reported Forbes on Boeing’s last quarterly report of 2009 in January. Boeing was hampered in 2008 by employee strikes.

“After a tough close to 2008, Boeing recovered with record full-year revenue and a healthy profit for the fourth quarter of 2009,” reported Forbes on 27 Jan. “Revenue for the quarter jumped 42 percent year over year to $17.9 billion. During the fourth quarter of 2008 a labor strike cost the company about $4.3 billion in commercial airplanes revenue.

On the manufacturing side, Boeing reached an agreement with its machinist’s union to allow for voluntary layoffs for those union members looking to keep key benefits, according to UPI.

“An agreement reached between Boeing and the International Association of Machinists District 751 would allow some Machinists to volunteer to be laid off with benefits,” District President Tom Wroblewski said earlier.

“‘It is a win-win situation, and it allows those who want to leave another option, along with some additional benefits,’ he said. Boeing, which has about 158,500 workers, including 72,162 in Washington state, has said it wants to reduce its overall workforce by about 2,000 this year.”

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