Airline woes arrive at Goodrich

By Bryan Corliss

Herald Writer

Goodrich Corp. will lay off 400 to 450 of its Everett workers — about a quarter of its local work force — citing a lack of business in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"The airlines in the past week have started parking airplanes that normally would be coming to our facility for maintenance," said spokeswoman Sherry Bergstrom. As a result, "we had to make an abrupt and painful decision."

Employees were notified Monday afternoon of the layoffs, which will "more than likely" start this week, Bergstrom said. "It’s brutal how quickly things can change."

It wasn’t a surprise, given all the layoff announcements at the airlines and the Boeing Co., said Nicole Covey, an avionics mechanic.

"Everybody’s been waiting," she said. "We all figured it was going to happen sometime soon."

The company had 2,021 workers in Everett before the layoffs started. It is Snohomish County’s third-largest private employer.

The layoffs will affect every aspect of Goodrich’s Everett operation, including its executive jet completion center, Bergstrom said. The layoffs won’t be based on strict seniority, but on a combination of factors, including skills, performance and length of service.

The company will work with employees to arrange severance packages, which will vary from person to person, she said.

It is the second layoff at Goodrich this year. In June, the company cut 300 workers, citing a slowdown in the air travel industry.

That slowdown became a complete stop this month, after the attacks grounded the nation’s passenger airlines and air cargo carriers.

Since then, major airlines have announced they were laying off workers, cutting flights and grounding large numbers of airplanes.

That’s a problem for Goodrich, which does maintenance and inspection work for airlines.

Goodrich does not publicly name who its customers are, Bergstrom said.

Bergstrom said Goodrich officials were looking at a number of marketing strategies in hopes of recouping lost business.

The hope is that the layoffs will be temporary and that the company will be able to call workers back next year, she said.

You can call Herald Writer Bryan Corliss at 425-339-3454

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