Boeing job cuts start to hit 12,000 US workers

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Reuters

More than 12,000 Boeing workers in the US are set to lose their jobs in the coming weeks, as cuts at the American aerospace giant take effect.

The firm said it was informing workers of 6,670 cuts this week. It has also approved 5,520 voluntary redundancies.

The reductions had been expected since Boeing revealed plans last month to slash its global workforce by 10% – or roughly 16,000 jobs.

“I wish there were some other way,” chief executive Dave Calhoun said.

Boeing has been reeling from a drop in demand for aircraft, as travel plunges amid the pandemic and worsens the pressures on the company, which was already in crisis following two fatal crashes of its 737 Max plane and the global grounding of the plane last year.

In April, customers cancelled more than 100 orders for the 737 and the firm said it had received no new reservations.

Boeing said it still expected to restart 737 Max production this year and that some airlines were reporting signs of recovery.

“But these signs of eventual recovery do not mean the global health and economic crisis is over,” Mr Calhoun said. “Our industry will come back but it will take some years to return to what it was just two months ago.”

Even before the pandemic, the crisis at Boeing, which forced it to halt 737 manufacturing, was expected to be a major drag on the US economy. Suppliers such as General Electric and Spirit AeroSystems Holdings have also announced major job cuts.

The job losses confirmed on Wednesday include more than 9,800 employees in Washington state. Boeing said “several thousand remaining layoffs will come in additional tranches over the next few months.”

The firm, which has about 18,000 international staff, is cutting about 700 jobs in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, according to the Wall Street Journal.

International employees will receive notice of cuts separately, Mr Calhoun said in the email to staff, which Boeing posted on its website.

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