The Boeing Company began a planned series of lay-offs last week in Washington State. The Boeing lay-offs will effect primarily engineers and machinists, eliminating many union jobs.
Engineers and technical professionals at Boeing are represented by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA). Machinists are represented by The International Association of Machinists (IAM).
IAM Local 751 has posted a list of 3,792 jobs included in the initial round of Boeing lay-offs. The list is broken down by job positions and includes the seniority cut-off dates, as they were known on the date of posting, in an effort to help their members anticipate the impact on their individual jobs.
SPEEA Local 2001 writes that The Boeing Company last week notified 1,239 SPEEA-represented employees that they are being laid off. The break down shows 697 employees in the Professional unit and 542 employees in the Technical unit are being released.
Boeing lay-offs will be combined with voluntary separations, such as buy-outs or early retirements. In total, the initial round of job cuts will reduce Boeings employee roster by approximately 10,000 people.
Through the combination of buy-outs and lay-offs, SPEEA will lose about 1,500 engineers (12%) and 1,000 technical staff (21%). IAM will lose about 5,000 machinists (16%). In addition, about 2,500 nonunion employees will also lose their jobs.
The Seattle Times published an article by aerospace reporter Dominic Gates, on May 29th, which outlines the distribution of job cuts across the region, and provides a detailed analysis of the Boeing programs impacted. Mr. Gates reports that the cuts will impact the commercial airplanes division. Boeing’s defense programs continue to do well.
CNBC also published an article about the Boeing job cuts, on May 28th, by Leslie Josephs. Ms. Josephs noted that the Coronavirus has driven down demand for air travel, hurting the airline and leasing customers Boeing relies on.
The CNBC article also notes that The Boeing Company had already been struggling with the aftermath of two crashes of its 737 Max planes, grounding the planes worldwide. Cancellations of orders are now piling up. Boeing posts updates on the 737 Max program and the latest information on Boeing’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic on it’s website.
Boeing has indicated it’s need to reduce it’s workforce, reported to be roughly 160,000 people, by about 10%. This and other steps to reduce expenditures are needed as it deals with an unprecedented downturn in business combined with it’s struggle to gain approval for flight of the 737 Max planes after repairs were made to the systems involved in the crashes.