Boeing staff are being offered voluntary layoff packages to avoid more drastic action as CEO admits it will take years for the industry to bounce back from the coronavirus crisis.
IN a memo to employees, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said the company is offering deals which will provide exiting employees withpay and benefits.
Calhoun said the company is doing so to “reduce the need for other workforce action”:
At the beginning of 2020, the airplane maker had 161,000 members of staff, with about a third of them represented by unions.
Airlines around the world are cutting capital spending as revenue is practically wiped out due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Calhoun said “it will take time for the aerospace industry to recover from the crisis,” adding “we will need to balance the supply and demand accordingly as the industry goes through the recovery process for years to come, it’s important we start adjusting to our new reality now.”
Congress passed a bill last week which included a €45 billion bailout for US airlines.
But with Boeing selling to airlines elsewhere in the world, this might not be much help.
And struggling airlines are likely to go bust or cancel existing orders.
Of Boeing’s backorder of 5,350 commercial jets that normally would have kept its plants busy for years, more than 4,000 are for airlines outside of America.
The firm was already facing difficulties at the start of the health crisis, with the grounding of its best-selling 737 Max, after 346 people died in two fatal crashes.
Last week Boeing closed production plants in Washington state following the death of an employee due to coronavirus.