Boeing announced on Wednesday that it will lay off approximately 6,770 employees in the U.S. due to the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. According to Boeing, its international locations are also in the process of workforce reductions, which “will be communicated locally on their own timelines in accordance with local laws and benefit terms.” The company will begin notifying affected U.S. employees this week.
“We will provide all the support we can to those … impacted by the ILOs [involuntary layoffs]—including severance pay, COBRA health care coverage for U.S. employees and career transition services,” Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said in a letter to employees. “The COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on the airline industry means a deep cut in the number of commercial jets and services our customers will need over the next few years, which in turn means fewer jobs on our lines and in our offices. … I wish there were some other way.”
Calhoun noted that some sectors of Boeing’s business—particularly on the defense side— will continue hiring. Citing COVID-19 and the grounding of the 737 MAX, Boeing announced in April that it was looking to reduce its workforce by around 10 percent through a combination of voluntary layoffs, natural turnover and involuntary layoffs. The company said on Wednesday that it has now concluded its voluntary layoff program.