Cuts continue as Boeing issues more layoff notices

EVERETT — The Boeing Co. issued more layoff notices Friday, as the aerospace giant continues trimming its workforce.

At least 281 workers were told they will be out of a job by late July. The company laid off 249 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and 32 members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace.

A Boeing spokesman declined to say how many non-union employees were laid off.

The company has to give laid-off workers 60-days warning ahead of their last day of work, which would be July 21 for employees notified Friday. If enough other employees retire or otherwise leave Boeing before then, the company may choose to not follow through on the layoff notices.

“We continue to follow the plan outlined to employees last December,” Boeing spokesman Paul Bergman said. “Employment reductions, which includes managers and executives, will come through a combination of attrition, leaving open positions unfilled, a voluntary layoff program and in some cases, involuntary layoffs. All information is being shared directly with employees.”

Boeing’s workforce has dropped by more than 13,600 since the beginning of 2016.

Those cuts have hit heaviest around Puget Sound, where the company’s payroll has been slashed from 79,238 at the beginning of 2016 to 70,640 by the end of March 2017, the most recent data available on the company’s website. That is a decrease of 8,598 jobs. Over the first three months of this year, the number of Boeing jobs in Washington fell by 1,241.

Company leaders have said they plan to trim Boeing’s workforce this year as much as they did last year. In 2016, Boeing’s Washington workforce dropped by 7,357 jobs — a 9.3 percent reduction — through a combination of leaving open positions unfilled, buyouts and layoffs.

“Unfortunately, we expect the layoffs to continue,” said Bill Dugovich, a spokesman for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, the white-collar union representing engineers and technical workers around Puget Sound.

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

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