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Boeing to cut thousands more employees as losses mount

By Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times on

Published in Business News

Boeing on Wednesday announced it will shrink its workforce further, saying that by the end of next year it will employ 31,000 fewer people companywide than at the beginning of this year.

That's a cut of just over 19% — from 161,000 to 130,000 — almost double the previous plan to cut 16,000 jobs or 10% of the total workforce.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun warned three months ago that more cuts would have to be made beyond the 10%, without specifying a figure.

Though Boeing did not break down the local impact of the additional job losses announced Wednesday, many of the cuts will inevitably be made in the pandemic-hit Commercial Airplanes division in the Puget Sound region.

Spokesperson Bradley Akuiburo said that "as with our previous workforce actions, we expect our corporate functions and commercial airplane and services businesses to be most affected."

In July, Boeing said it would achieve its initial 10% target through 19,000 employees leaving while about 3,000 new hires joined the company, mostly on the defense and space side.

 

Last month, Boeing said that round of cuts was complete. That included a total of 8,320 employees company-wide opting to leave with severance pay in two separate rounds of voluntary buyouts.

The net impact in Washington state was 12,600 fewer jobs.

This time around, Akubuiro said that beyond natural attrition as employees leave or retire, Boeing is looking at a reduction of about 7,000 additional cuts company-wide through a combination of further rounds of buyouts and layoffs through the end of 2021.

Asked on CNBC Wednesday morning if this would be the end of the job cuts, CEO Calhoun said the forecast is "conservative" but added that "I will never just draw a floor."

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