Boeing announces plans for voluntary layoffs

Boeing announces plans for voluntary layoffs
FILE PHOTO: Boeing 737 Max (Stephen Brashear)

Boeing has plans to offer buyouts and early retirements to workers in the coming weeks.

The company revealed details of what they’re calling “voluntary layoffs” late Wednesday night.

“We're in uncharted waters,” wrote the company’s new CEO David Calhoun. “We're taking actions — including offering this VLO plan — based on what we know today.”

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It’s been more than a year since two crashes killed 346 people which led to the eventual grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX fleet. Earlier this year production was halted, before COVID-19 concerns led to a two-week shutdown at production facilities across Puget Sound and other production hubs.

Calhoun insisted that commercial, defense and space programs will continue to be a part of the company’s future, while admitting that the size of the aerospace market will be smaller following the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus.

“When the world emerges from the pandemic, the size of the commercial market and the types of products and services our customers want and need will likely be different,” said Calhoun.

Boeing has more than 70,000 workers in Washington and more than 150,000 worldwide.