Last week Boeing handed out a second round of layoff notices, notifying approximately 1,030 employees companywide that they will lose their jobs by Aug. 28.
Of these new layoffs, 668 are in Washington state.
In a statement, Boeing said these layoffs are the next wave in its previously announced plan to shrink the size of the workforce overall by about 10%, due to the dire impact on the aviation industry of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because that impact is felt mostly in the Commercial Airplanes division, Washington state is set to take a bigger hit, with more than 15% of jobs here to be cut, Boeing said.
This second round of cuts will bring the Boeing jobs losses in the state to 10,500 by the end of summer.
In the first round of job cuts announced in late May, Boeing announced almost 12,300 U.S. jobs would go through a combination of slightly more than 5,500 voluntary buyouts and almost 6,800 layoffs.
The company had already announced more than 600 job losses in Australia and Canada, so that brought the total reduction close to 13,000 employees, or about 8% of the total workforce of just over 160,000.
The second round of layoffs bumps up the reduction to almost 14,000 employees overall, which isn’t quite 9% of the total. So there are likely another 2,000 job losses ahead companywide.
One of the workers who received a layoff notice was told by his manager the next round of cuts will be announced July 25, with a termination date in September.
In separate Boeing news, the company’s Chicago-based senior vice president of communications, Niel Golightly, resigned Thursday after just six months in the job.
The company said his departure followed an employee complaint that drew the Boeing leadership’s attention to an article Golightly wrote in 1987 when he was a young lieutenant in the Navy. In that piece, he argued forcefully that women were unsuited to the rigors of combat and shouldn’t be allowed to serve in that role.
In a company statement, Golightly said the article does not reflect his views today, but was “a 29-year-old Cold War navy pilot’s misguided contribution to a debate that was live at the time.”
“My argument was embarrassingly wrong and offensive. The dialogue that followed its publication 33 years ago quickly opened my eyes, indelibly changed my mind,” he said. “The article is not a reflection of who I am; but nonetheless I have decided that in the interest of the company I will step down.”
Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said he discussed at length with Golightly the implications for his role as lead spokesperson, given the company’s ostensible commitment to diversity.
“I greatly respect Niel for stepping down in the interest of the company,” Calhoun said. “I thank him for his contributions.”