The second largest defense contractor in the world, American-based Boeing, announced a major layoff of high-skilled jobs Monday. It was bad timing because the president is currently on a jobs tour in Wisconsin.
Donald Trump built his campaign on the promise of not only saving jobs but creating more. Boeing announced the layoffs of hundreds of engineers, and spokesperson Doug Alder told USA Today:
‘Today’s announcement involves involuntary layoffs in the engineering function of commercial airplanes. We expect that hundreds of employees will be impacted in Washington state and other locations across the enterprise.’
The manufacturer began in Wichita, Kansas in 1927 and employed up to 40,000 at one time. During World War II it was vital to military production. Now, its headquarters are in Chicago.
The reason for layoffs lies with declining aircraft sales. Earlier this year, Boeing laid off approximately 1,800 mechanics and engineers.
The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace represents these engineers. Boeing’s 60-day notices come out Friday. At this time, the union has not been able to find out which plants and skill codes will feel the brunt of the upcoming layoffs.
According to USA Today, Union spokesperson Bill Dugovich said:
‘It’s very disappointing. The workforce here in Washington state has now been cut by the Boeing Co. by more than 12,600 jobs since Washington state gave the company the largest tax break in U.S. history in November 2013.’
Boeing slashed 1,332 Washington engineering and technical jobs beginning in January, the union said. That does not include over 300 like positions, where employees took voluntary layoffs.
Boeing released a statement, which USA Today reported:
‘In an ongoing effort to increase overall competitiveness and invest in our future, we are reducing costs and matching employment levels to business and market requirements. Employment reductions, including managers and executives, will come through a combination of attrition, leaving open positions unfilled, a voluntary layoff program and in some cases, involuntary layoffs.’
The company’s commercial airplane division employed 74,196 people out of the manufacturer’s total 146,962 workers, on March 30. Last year there were 82,127 people employed in the commercial airplane division and 159,054 workers in total.
The company also makes rotorcraft, satellites, and rockets in its multi-national business.
Check out this video of Boeing below:
Featured Image: Getty Images/Mark Wilson.
H/T: USA Today.