Job Swaps

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Bombardier "Streamlines"...

Bombardier is streamlining its business jet operations in a series of moves that will affect 1,150 jobs in the U.S. The Canadian-owned company announced last week it is moving production of the Challenger 300 from its Wichita plant to Montreal, where other models of the Challenger are made. The Wichita facility will continue to make Learjets. And although 350 jobs will be lost in Wichita, production of the Challenger 300 will be integrated into the existing capacity at the Montreal plant -- no new jobs are expected. There will, however, be some jobs added in both Montreal and Wichita at the expense of Tucson, Ariz. The company announced it will be closing its finishing plant in Tucson where all of the company's jets were outfitted with the plush perks of the high office they represent. Instead, the planes will be finished where they are started in Montreal and Wichita. But although 800 jobs will be lost in Tuscon, the company estimates only about 100 of those employees will be offered positions at the other plants. Bombardier Aerospace CEO Pierre Beaudoin said keeping the two airplane brands separate and integrating the finishing process with assembly will cut costs (about $25 million a year) and boost efficiency. Although the job losses in Wichita were a blow to a city that's already lost 12,000 jobs in the current industry slump, officials there are actually breathing a sigh of relief that the plant wasn't closed entirely, as was hinted by company officials early in the review process.