Boeing offers ‘voluntary’ layoffs as coronavirus crisis continues

  • Boeing offers ‘voluntary’ layoffs as coronavirus crisis continues

Boeing offers ‘voluntary’ layoffs as coronavirus crisis continues

"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", Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said in a letter to company employees.

Workers would exit Boeing permanently and would generally receive a pay and benefits package that includes a period of partially-subsidized healthcare coverage. A Boeing representative in Asia couldn't immediately comment.

Boeing, which calls itself America's largest exporter, has some 150,000 employees worldwide, almost half of whom are clustered around marquee factories in Seattle's Puget Sound region. Two people who sought anonymity said the move is meant to mitigate the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

As of last week (March 23), at least 25 Boeing workers in western Washington had tested positive for COVID-19, including at least one death, according to The Seattle Times.

The buyout plan comes three weeks after the USA planemaker said it would freeze hiring and overtime pay, except in certain critical areas, to preserve cash.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that an announcement on early retirement and buyout packages could come as early as Thursday.

Chicago-based Boeing, already reeling from a prolonged grounding of its 737 Max, faces a falloff in demand for twin-aisle aircraft like its 787 Dreamliner and 777X. The company has asked for a $60 billion bailout package for the struggling USA aerospace manufacturing industry.