Boeing accepted a total of 1880 voluntary layoffs, from machinist and engineer union members working in different facilities around Seattle, according to union representatives. Most of the voluntary layoffs – around 1575 – came from the machinists union. The cuts had been announced at the end of 2016, with the application deadline being February 1st, 2017.
Last year, Boeing offered its workers buyout options, as part of the 8% personnel reduction at the commercial aircraft unit. At the turn of the year, the unit had about 75,000 workers. The number of positions to be cut this year is yet to be disclosed by the company.
According to union representatives, so far all machinist layoffs have been voluntary, with a large part coming from workers that had plans to retire.
On the 10th of January, Boeing sent out a memo to its employees about cutting engineer positions. This move comes as a response to increased worldwide competition coupled with sluggish aircraft sales.
The American plane manufacturer did not disclose the exact number of planned layoffs. In 2016, Boeing reduced almost 11,000 jobs, with around two-thirds of those in Washington, US.
“While we have made good progress, more changes are needed to ensure our long-term future,” was written in the memo sent out in January and signed by John Hamilton, VP of Engineering at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“We continue to operate in an environment characterized by fewer sales opportunities and tough competition.”