Piper, Mooney See Cutbacks

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Piper will defer about $10 million worth of incentive money that would have required the company to hire additional workers, and a former Mooney employee says his former company last week had another round of layoffs. Piper will not seek money that would have required it to produce the PiperJet and hire 400 new workers by 2012 for that project. The deal would also have required the company to retain 1,417 people through 2015, removing operational flexibility the company may need. Piper has already shortened its workweek and extended its winter holiday closure to nearly three weeks in adapting to a slowing economy. But the company is framing its actions as proactive, not reactive. "While this year has been a good one for Piper," spokesman Mark Miller told Florida Today, "we have taken measures to keep the company healthy and to weather any future adversity." At Mooney, where last month 229 employees were laid off, a new report published on Christmas Day cites a company employee who states that 40 more employees were laid off last week. Seeking confirmation from CFO, Jon Greenwood, reporters were told to contact Mooney CEO Robert Gowens, who is out of town through Jan. 5.

If confirmed, the move would mark the third workforce reduction at Mooney this year, cutting staff to minimums to watch over the company's Kerrville facilities and more than 25 completed aircraft sitting unsold on the ramp. At Mooney, June saw 80 workers let go as production was reduced from eight to five aircraft per month. Early November witnessed the loss of 229 workers (more than 70 percent of Mooney's workforce). By our math, removal of 40 workers from those remaining would leave a few more than 50 employed by Mooney at Kerrville, Texas.