Category Archives: The Boeing Company

Boeing Lay-Offs Hit WA State – Round One

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).

Photo by mag3737 on / CC BY-NC-SA

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.

Prior Posts on Related Topics:

27,000 Boeing Workers Return to Work

Approximately 27,000 Boeing workers return to work this week. Those that can perform their work from home will continue to telecommute. Boeing’s press release is excerpted, below. Read the full release, here.

Boeing Workers Return to Work

Boeing has taken steps to resume all Commercial Airplanes production in a phased approach at its Puget Sound-region facilities this week, after suspending operations last month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At all of its sites, the company has taken extra precautions and instituted comprehensive procedures to keep people safe and fight the spread of COVID-19. 

Approximately 27,000 people in the Puget Sound area will return to production of the 747, 767, 777 and 787 programs, supporting critical global transportation infrastructure, cargo services and national defense and security missions. The 737 program will resume working toward restarting production of the 737 MAX. Boeing South Carolina remains in a suspension of operations at this time. Earlier this week Boeing restarted mostly defense production operations in the region with approximately 2,500 people.

The company’s practices reinforce enhanced cleaning, employee health and physical distancing in partnership with employees. Aligned with federal and state guidance, these practices include:

  • Staggered shift start times to reduce the flow of employees arriving and departing work 
  • Visual controls such as floor markings and signage to create physical distance 
  • Face coverings will be a requirement for employees at Boeing sites in Washington. Employees are strongly encouraged to bring in their own procedural mask or face covering; those who do not have a mask available will be provided with one. 
  • Providing required personal protective equipment to employees working in areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained for an extended period 
  • Asking employees to perform self-health checks before coming to work and to stay home if they are ill 
  • Employee wellness checks at the beginning of every shift and voluntary temperature screening at many manufacturing locations 
  • Contact tracing when an employee tests positive for COVID-19 to reduce risk to teammates 
  • Continued virtual meetings and employees who can work from home will continue to do 
  • Transportation and common areas adjusted for physical distancing 
  • Hand-washing stations in high-traffic areas and additional cleaning supplies available

Enhanced measures will continue until conditions allow for a return to regular work and cleaning processes. Boeing will continue to monitor government guidance on COVID-19, assess impact on company operations and adjust plans as the situation evolves.

Governor Inslee Asked About Boeing Return to Work

During his April 16th press briefing, Governor Inslee was asked about his “reactions to Boeing announcing it will restart commercial airplane production, and whether you gave them the green light to do so,…”

The Governor responded, referring to Stan Deal, Executive Vice President of Boeing, saying:

“…I didn’t have a chance to talk to him about this specifically, but we have talked about this prospect in the past, and I am glad that the Boeing company is committing to very robust social distancing protocols, and use of PPE. We will try to get more details about that to make sure that those plans are adequate to the safety of Boeing employees, which obviously is a paramount concern of ours. I will be talking to Mr. Deal. Our departments will look at their plans to guarantee safety of our employees and hopefully they’re going to pass muster.“

Boeing Return to Work an Experiment

Suddenly releasing 27,000+ employees to return to work in plants across the Puget Sound region will be an experiment to determine the effect of a phased reopening of the State. Governor Inslee has referred to a gradual reopening – “turning up a dial rather than flipping a switch” – while watching the data for any adverse changes.

Although it is not clear if Governor Inslee had input on the decision to reopen Boeing plants to workers, it is clear that the dial has been turned, a bit, this week.

Prior Post on Related Topic


The Boeing Company Makes a Big Investment in its Employees With Auburn, WA Training Facility

Boeing showcased its commitment to the Auburn community and the entire Puget Sound region with the grand opening of its Workforce Readiness Center.

The Workforce Readiness Center is the first new building at the Auburn site in 25 years.

The center, which features state-of-the-art training and equipment, is dedicated to giving workers the skills they need to contribute to a 21st century workforce.

The 71,000 square foot Workforce Readiness Center houses:

  • Equipment services training for mechanics and technicians to receive new training and obtain necessary re-certifications.
  • A robotics lab, where employees can learn next-generation manufacturing.
  • Safety courses, which ensure Auburn remains the leader in workplace safety.
  • The first onsite IAM/Boeing Joint Program collaborative safety development curriculum with the International Association of Machinists.

Boeing is the largest private employer in Washington state, with nearly half of Boeing’s employees located in the state. This new center highlights Boeing’s commitment to employees in Washington and the region’s long-term economic success.

Read more about the opening of Boeing’s Workforce Readiness Center.

Photo credit: The Boeing Company

Boeing Unveils New Cargo Air Vehicle Prototype

The Boeing Company announced the unveiling of a new cargo air vehicle prototype.

In less than three months, a Boeing team designed and built an unmanned cargo air vehicle prototype. Researchers are using it as a test bed to mature the technological building blocks of safe, autonomous flight.

It stands four feet off the ground and measures 15 by 18 feet. Powered by an environmentally-friendly electric propulsion system, it is outfitted with custom Boeing batteries and eight counter-rotating propeller blades for vertical flight.

Designed to carry up to 500 pounds, the prototype will open up new possibilities for future aerospace vehicles used to transport cargo and other potential logistics applications.

Did you catch the big reveal? Watch it fly:



Boeing’s Homage to Women Engineers

I found the video The Boeing Company produced to be quite compelling. Below is Boeing’s release statement and a link to the video. It’s worth watching, and sharing. – Kit

For this year’s International Women in Engineering Day, Boeing is highlighting the need for more women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). 

Through its powerful #WomenMakeUsBetter video, which features Boeing engineers reading and reacting to college rejection letters women received in the early 20th century, Boeing demonstrates we have come a long way – but there is still much more to be done.

Today, only 13% of U.S. engineering jobs are held by women. The #WomenMakeUsBetter video features real Boeing employees who are working hard to change that. 

Boeing understands that women bring important perspectives and different skills to the workforce and that girls need role models in careers like engineering. That’s why Boeing focuses on recruiting diverse employees and reaching out to minority and under-represented communities to encourage them to consider a career in STEM.

Last year, Boeing and the Boeing Charitable Trust gave more than $18 million towards community initiatives that encouraged more than 600,000 women to go into STEM fields. 

Watch the full video to see how #WomenMakeUsBetter.  

Photo: Shirley Jackson, the first African-American female Ph.D graduate of MIT who later went on to become the president of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a prestigious engineering school. Tip of the hat to Shawn Adderly

The Boeing Company: Celebrating 50 years in Everett, Washington

Last week, The Boeing Company announced their celebration of 50 years in Everett, Washington:

“The 747, 767, KC-46, 777, 787 Dreamliner, and soon-to-be 777X: all built in one very special place. We’re celebrating 50 years of our Everett site in Washington. From its development in 1967 to build the 747, to today’s 777X Composite Wing Center, our largest manufacturing site continues to rollout the most advanced jetliners in the world.”

In May 1967, Boeing employees moved into a new factory built beside Paine Field near Everett, Wash.  Thirteen months later, the group that became known in aerospace legend as “The Incredibles” rolled out the 747.

A half-century later, more than 40,000 employees, customers and suppliers visit Boeing’s largest manufacturing site daily. The hub of widebody factories is home to the 747-8, 767, 777, 787 Dreamliner, the KC-46 Tanker and several derivative programs. Building renovations and new construction tell a tale of continuous improvement and transformation — including the 1.3 million square foot (120, 800 square meter) Composite Wing Center — as today’s production system prepares for the 777X. 

As the company this month commemorates 50 years of Team Everett’s contributions, those changes reflect Boeing’s continued investment in the region, company leaders say.  And several employees who joined the Everett site in the 1960s added their unique perspectives about the past and future.

>>To read the rest of the story click here.

See The Boeing Company’s video scrapbook of the past 50 years in Everett, from forest to major manufacturing site.

Photo credit: The Everett Herald, “Visual History: 50 Years of Boeing at Paine Field in Everett.”