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Boeing to Dismiss Hundreds of Engineers amid Sales Slowdown

April 17, 2017
The latest workforce reduction, which should take effect June 23, follows a separate exodus of 1,500 mechanics and 305 engineers and technical workers who agreed to leave voluntarily earlier this year.

Boeing Co. (IW 1000/29) plans to lay off hundreds of engineers in Washington state and other locations -- and may eliminate more jobs later this year as the planemaker contends with slowing aircraft sales.

The latest workforce reduction, which should take effect June 23, follows a separate exodus of 1,500 mechanics and 305 engineers and technical workers who agreed to leave voluntarily earlier this year.

Both union and non-union workers will be affected, Doug Alder, a Boeing spokesman, said on April 17.

Additional engineering job cuts may follow later this year depending on “our business environment and the amount of voluntary attrition,” John Hamilton, vice president of engineering for the commercial airplanes unit, said in a letter to employees on April 17.

The Chicago-based company, which emerged as the face of U.S. manufacturing under President Donald Trump, has been winnowing employment for more than a year as a record jetliner sales spree fades.

Boeing trimmed the workforce in the Seattle area, its traditional manufacturing base, by 9% to 70,640 employees over the past year. The company’s total headcount has shrunk 7.6% to 146,962 since March 2016.

Alder wouldn’t say which locations would be affected by the job cuts. A spokesman for SPEEA, the union representing Boeing’s engineers, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Some unionized workers may be eligible to be recalled at a future date.

By Julie Johnsson

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