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Boeing To Cut As Much As 8,000 Jobs In Washington

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Boeing could lay off as many as 8,000 workers in Washington, double the number that CEO Ray Conner announced last month.

Conner revealed plans six weeks ago to cut 4,000 jobs by June, but according to an internal company document, at least one unit of Boeing is looking to reduce its workforce by 10 percent.

According to sources, the percentage is roughly the same one for workers expected to be laid off throughout the state, which would translate to double Conner's initial number.

The Seattle Times, which acquired the internal Boeing document, asked the company regarding its workforce reduction plans. In response, the company said that the initial figure will include hundreds of managers and executives, with the reduction of 4,000 positions to be made through the combination of normal attrition and a voluntary buyout package that would include around 1,600 employees.

In a statement, the company said that it will only be turning to involuntary layoffs as a last resort, and that there is no target for employment reduction.

The acquired document was from the Puget Sound unit of Boeing, which is the test and evaluation division that conducts lab, ground and flight tests. The document outlined precise targets in workforce reductions, stating that the need to reduce staffing levels by about 10 percent before the year ends is anticipated.

Workforce reduction is only a part of a major plan of Boeing to cut costs. Other initiatives that the company is launching include reducing supplier costs, boosting productivity, lowering inventory and cutting other expenses related to overtime, travel, contractors and services.

Boeing is aiming to reduce its costs by billions of dollar by the end of the year, and if cuts from other parts of the business are not enough, then more layoffs will be coming within the year.

"The only way you quickly can reduce costs is by laying people off. There's no magic about it," aviation consultancy Avitas Senior VP Adam Pilarski said.

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