Boeing to cut 12,000 jobs by Dec. 14, in the first round of layoffs prompted by attacks

Friday, October 12th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

About 9,000 of those employees were scheduled to receive 60-day layoff notices Friday, Boeing spokesman Tom Ryan said, including about 7,000 in the Puget Sound region where the majority of Boeing's commercial jets are built.

The 3,000 remaining jobs will be cut through attrition, retirement and laying off contract employees, Ryan confirmed.

The jetliner factory in Wichita, Kan., will lose 1,645 jobs, spokesman Dick Ziegler said. ``It's painful to do,'' he said. The factory had already lost about 450 jobs to attrition and announced layoffs this year.

The layoff notices were no surprise. Barely a week after the Sept. 11 hijacking attacks pushed many airlines into a crisis, the jet maker had said it would be forced to lay off 20,000 to 30,000 employees from its commercial division by the end of 2002. Two more rounds of layoff notices are expected.

Boeing workers have gone through layoffs before, and many have come to expect them as work for the aerospace giant ebbs and flows. Before Sept. 11, however, Boeing had seen only a slight slowdown in aircraft orders, so the new layoffs come on relatively short notice.

David Goodsell, a structure mechanic at Boeing's Renton plant south of Seattle, said he expected to receive a layoff notice when he reported for the swing shift Friday. He was recalled to work only recently after a 26-month layoff.

``Pretty much I'm going into deep thinking about a (new) career,'' said Goodsell, 38.

Ryan could offer little hope for employees hoping to be brought back soon.

``We're hoping with each passing day, the flying public can regain confidence in the system, get back on airplanes and we can turn this thing around. But as of right now our partners, our airline customers, are in dire straits and when they hurt, we hurt,'' Ryan said.

In addition to the 60-day notice, laid-off Boeing workers will get up to 26 weeks' severance pay and three months of health care coverage. They also can receive job placement assistance, tuition reimbursement and other aid.