Boeing cutting 16K jobs after first-quarter losses

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Boeing announced in a video message to employees Wednesday that it would lay off about 10 percent of its total workforce, around 16,000 people, due to fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

A transcript of the message from CEO David Calhoun obtained by The Hill indicates that the staff reductions will come from a combination of voluntary and involuntary layoffs as well as natural turnover rates.

“These new reductions in our production rates and the continued impact of COVID-19 on our business will force us to reduce the size of our workforce. I’m sorry that I have to deliver this news, but I wanted you to hear it from me first — and I recorded a video message so you could hear it from me directly,” Calhoun said.

“We have begun taking action to lower our number of employees by roughly 10 percent through a combination of voluntary layoffs, natural turnover and involuntary layoffs as necessary,” he added.

Calhoun added that the company anticipated that it would be able to resume production of the troubled 737 Max line in 2021, despite the plane’s grounding by global aviation authorities after a pair of deadly crashes. However, production would only total 31 planes per month at its peak next year, the company warned.

“I know this news is a blow during an already challenging time. I regret the impact this will have on many of you. I sincerely wish there were some other way,” Calhoun said. “Please know that we will do everything we can to minimize that impact, and as we take these steps, we will be as fair and transparent as possible — and absolutely honest and respectful.”

The company was already in troubled economic straits prior to the advance of the coronavirus outbreak around the world, which has greatly reduced rates of international and domestic air travel.

Boeing entered talks earlier this year to secure billions of dollars in loans over the issue, and in March moved to take a full $13.8 billion loan from banks Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, as well as others. 

Tags Coronavirus Dave Calhoun

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