Wichita-based Textron Aviation will lay off around 250 workers as the nation continues to reel from the novel coronavirus. Some 70 of those involve employees in Wichita. According to reports, the layoffs do not involve union members, but affect salaried exempt and non-exempt employees. Textron employs around 9,500 people in Wichita alone. “As Textron Aviation continues to adjust to the evolving global economic uncertainty and existing market conditions, the company has announced workforce reductions and additional periodic furloughs in some functional areas throughout the remainder of 2020,” the company said in a statement.
“These are hard decisions to make during this challenging time,” Textron management told its employees. “While there are some promising indicators, such as a positive sentiment toward general aviation, a rise in U.S. flight activity, and limited pre-owned aircraft available for purchase, a sustained increase in business activity is still needed.”
Even those retaining their jobs for now were warned that there may be additional furloughs this year. Textron has asked the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to open negotiations early. The arrangement in place is set to expire at the end of September. Union members are due to vote this week on whether to start talking now or wait until September.