By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
Cessna will cut an additional 700 jobs, CEO Jack Pelton announced on Tuesday. In an e-mail to employees, Pelton cited a "stalled ... lackluster economy" and said that while cancellations of aircraft orders have slowed, the recovery and growth that was expected this year has not materialized. "We must continue to lower our cost structure to remain competitive," Pelton wrote. Scott Donnelly, the CEO of Textron, Cessna's parent company, said orders for business jets at Cessna have failed to show a "discernable improvement," although most of the conglomerate's other businesses are showing "solid performance." Cessna is based in Wichita and Independence, in Kansas, but also has operations in Georgia and Mexico. The company has already cut its workforce in half over the last two years, eliminating 8,000 jobs, mostly in Wichita.
"Our strategy is to defend and protect our current markets while investing in products and services to secure our future, but we can do this only if we succeed in restructuring our processes and reducing our costs," Pelton said. Over the weekend, members of the Machinists Union at Cessna rejected a contract offer but narrowly averted a strike when just 49 percent of the membership voted to walk off the job. The main issue at stake in the contract was job security.