Boeing has announced that it will start involuntary layoffs in the US, with the first set of almost 7,000 job losses to be communicated this week.
Combined with the voluntary layoffs already made, this amounts to nearly 12,300 job cuts. There may also be more to follow, as Boeing has previously said 16,000 job cuts may be necessary.
These job cuts were announced on 27 May in a message from chief executive David Calhoun to company employees. Boeing confirmed that it would now begin involuntary layoffs and that it would start to inform those affected this week.
“We have come to the unfortunate moment of having to start involuntary layoffs. We’re notifying the first 6,770 of our US team members this week that they will be affected,” he said.
Washington state looks set to be the worst hit with 9,840 jobs to be cut there by 31 July, according to reports from The Seattle Times.
Calhoun stated that Boeing would support all those affected. It will provide severance pay, COBRA health care coverage, and career transition services. He also did not rule out further cuts at international locations.
He wrote, “Our international locations also are working through workforce reductions that will be communicated locally on their own timelines in accordance with local laws and benefit terms.”
While these jobs are being cut it was has also been announced that Boeing is set to recommence 737 MAX construction.
Boeing is resuming the production of the 737 MAX at the company’s factory in Renton, Washington. According to the company, it will start at a “low rate” and will keep on ramping up the production this year.
“These initiatives are the next step in creating the optimal build environment for the 737 MAX,” said Walt Odisho, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program.
The production of the 737 MAX has been on hold since January. Meanwhile, the company has been working on the recertification of the airplane.
When Boeing obtains the recertification for the aircraft, it will be in a very different world. Several airlines have already delayed or cancelled MAX orders due to the current crisis.
For instance, United Airlines recently delayed more than half its order with Boeing. It will only receive 40 airplanes by the end of 2021. Southwest took a similar approach and deferred some of its orders.