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Boeing pushes further voluntary redundancies

written by Hannah Dowling | August 19, 2020

Boeing 777X during a taxi test (Boeing)

Boeing has announced it will offer employees a voluntary redundancy package, including pay and benefits, for the second time this year, as the manufacturer continues in its struggle to navigate the worldwide COVID-19 induced aviation slowdown.

According to a note to employees written by Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun, the latest voluntary redundancy packages will be offered to employees within three of the company’s sectors: commercial airplanes, the services division, and its corporate offices.

“Unfortunately, layoffs are a hard but necessary step to align to our new reality, preserve liquidity and position ourselves for the eventual return to growth,” Calhoun said in the note.

“We anticipate seeing a significantly smaller marketplace over the next three years.”

Over the last number of months, Boeing’s balance sheet has suffered both at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as ongoing troubles and the year-long grounding of its 737 MAX, in the aftermath of two fatal crashes caused by the plane’s software systems.

Its first round of voluntary layoffs saw nearly 20,000 individuals exit the company, with these workers completing their final day of work on 31 July 2020. 

The company has not set a target for how many employees it is hoping to take up the second voluntary layoff package.

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The planemaker had said in April it intended to cut its 160,000-person workforce by about 10 per cent, however the move to extend the overall workforce reductions beyond this target was made in response to employee feedback, Calhoun said.

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