The layoffs at Boeing’s Puget Sound-based Commercial Airplanes division won’t be increasing beyond the 4,500 the company announced earlier this year, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said today in an earning conference call.
McNerney set off a rush of anxiety among Boeing workers and area business people already traumatized by numerous layoffs when he said the company would reduce its payroll by about 10,000 workers this year.
That remark came early in the earnings conference call and immediate touched off new headlines around the country.
The new figure caught the company’s public relations and human resources people flat-footed.
“We don’t know anything about that. It was news to us,” said one Boeing public relations employee.
In a media question-and-answer period later in the call, McNerney said the 5,500 additional job cuts would come from attrition, retirements and possible job cuts in operations outside the commercial airplane division.
That doesn’t mean that only 4,500 workers in the Puget Sound area will lose their Boeing jobs this year. The company has other divisions here including significant operations by the defense and shared services divisions, but the commercial airplanes operation employs the great majority of Boeing’s workers in this area.
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