Boeing workers consider buyout offers from company

EVERETT — Boeing workers in Everett and other locations are weighing whether to take buyouts as the company aims to cut its labor costs while avoiding morale-sapping layoffs.

Still, some workers are wondering “when do the involuntary layoffs come?” said one Boeing mechanic, who asked that his name not be used as he is not authorized to publicly talk about the company.

Some workers nearing retirement said they see the chance to get their own “golden handshake,” a term usually applied to generous severance packages promised to executives.

Boeing is offering workers who take the buyout up to 26 weeks of pay in a lump sum payment. The actual amount depends on years of service with the company.

A spokesman for the aerospace giant declined to comment on the offers.

Workers can apply until mid-March to take a voluntary layoff. The company will notify them March 28 if they have been accepted. The layoffs would start May 20 at the earliest.

Managers told workers at Boeing’s Everett plant flight line that the company wants to cut the number of flight line workers from about 1,700 now to 1,400 by 2018, a Boeing mechanic said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

The company has already moved about 300 people off the Everett flight line to other airplane programs, such as the 777X, 737 and KC-46 tanker.

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; dcatchpole@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

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