Boeing Job Cuts This Year Could Reach 10 Percent (excerpt)
(Source: Seattle Times; published March 29, 2016)
By Dominic Gates
SEATTLE --- Boeing Commercial Airplanes has taken steps expected to eliminate 4,000 jobs by June — and that may be only halfway towards the total cuts this year.

Since Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner announced a drive to cut the workforce six weeks ago, his team has taken steps expected to eliminate 4,000 jobs by June — and that may be only halfway towards the total cuts this year.

An internal Boeing document obtained by the Seattle Times reveals that at least one company unit is targeting a 10 percent workforce reduction overall.

And people with knowledge of what’s planned say that’s roughly the percentage of jobs expected to be cut statewide. That would translate to as many as 8,000 jobs being eliminated.

Asked about the plans, Boeing said Tuesday the initial jobs eliminated include “hundreds of executives and managers” and that the 4,000 figure will be achieved through normal attrition and a voluntary buyout package for about 1,600 employees.

The workforce reduction is part of a major cost-saving push that also involves squeezing supplier costs, increasing productivity, shrinking inventory and cutting travel, overtime, services and contractor expenses — an effort that Boeing said “involves taking out billions of dollars in cost by the end of 2016.”

If enough savings cannot be found elsewhere and more job cuts are required, layoffs would come later in the year, Boeing said.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) vice president of communications Sean McCormack said Tuesday that “our targets are dollar-based.”

“The more we reduce non-labor costs, the less impact there will be to jobs,” he said.

One Boeing unit in the Puget Sound area — the Test & Evaluation division that conducts flight, ground and lab tests — recently outlined very precise job-cut targets in an internal guidance document telling managers what to expect.

It begins: “We anticipate the need to reduce staffing levels about 10 percent before the end of the year.”

BCA chief executive Ray Conner first announced that job cuts were coming last month in an internal webcast to all Commercial Airplanes employees, a precise account of which has not previously been made public.

According to a Boeing transcript of that webcast, Conner said the company needed to drastically reduce costs — and thus airplane pricing — because of fierce sales competition from Airbus.

“Their biggest weapon that they’re using in the competitions today is price,” Conner told employees. “They are attacking us with price in every single campaign. And as a result of that, you know, we’re being pushed to the wall.” (end of excerpt)


Click here for the full story, on the Seattle Times website.

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