Boeing Seeks More Voluntary Worker Departures

Credit: Boeing

Boeing will seek more voluntary layoffs in its commercial aircraft, MRO services and corporate offices, the company’s chief executive revealed in an internal memo, as the giant airliner manufacturer tries to scale down its operations to meet a diminished marketplace in the coming years.

“I truly wish the current market demand could support the size of our workforce,” CEO David Calhoun told employees. “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.”

The latest reductions bring the expected total cuts at Boeing to more than the 10% previously targeted. However, according to Calhoun, they should lower the number of involuntary layoffs pursued later. Boeing Defense and Space workers will not be as eligible for the voluntary opt-outs.

Boeing’s total workforce at the end of 2019 counted around 161,100.

The Boeing cuts come as the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic recession have forced aerospace manufacturers and MRO shops to announce tens of thousands of permanent workforce reductions, separate from temporary reductions. U.S. airlines could nearly double the tally come October if no further federal aid is provided and they follow through on letting go thousands more workers.

Michael Bruno

Based in Washington, Michael Bruno is Aviation Week Network’s Executive Editor for Business. He oversees coverage of aviation, aerospace and defense businesses, supply chains and related issues.