Boeing Offers Employee Buyouts as Coronavirus Takes Toll

Gene Naumovsky

With Boeing facing financial realities, employees have the option of buyouts as the aviation industry holds on.

As air travel restrictions continue to slow the global aviation industry, Boeing Co. is providing optional buyout packages to employees, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In an internal email to Boeing employees last Thursday, chief executive David Calhoun wrote, “We will need to balance the supply and demand accordingly as the industry goes through the recovery process for years to come… It’s important we start adjusting to our new reality now.”

The largest US exporter, Chicago-based Boeing is looking to preserve cash as it shuts down hiring and overtime. The pandemic has ravaged the industry and Boeing has already announced layoffs and voluntary leave without pay. With 65,000 employees working on assembling commercial aircraft and another 25,000 in airline services, costs such as the suspension of 737 MAX jet manufacturing do not paint a bright future for workers. Yet, Boeing hasn’t announced any involuntary layoffs for its total 160,000 employees. The aviation giant looks to avoid layoffs with taxpayer aid.

Calhoun added, “We can’t get back to regular operations again after the crisis if we don’t have the people and skills to make that happen.”

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