Hawker Beech Laying Off Another 350 Workers
“While there are pockets of growth in the global economy, the market for new production aircraft has stagnated at a very low level,” Hawker Beechcraft chairman and CEO Bill Boisture said in a memo to employees on Friday. In the letter, he said the company plans to “reduce the size of our salaried (non-hourly) work force by approximately 350.” Although this latest round of layoffs does not affect hourly union workers, Boisture made it clear that future reductions in force might do so. “While we do not see a large-scale layoff of hourly employees at this time, small reductions or short furloughs may be required to modulate production line output in an attempt to reduce unsold aircraft inventory.” Hawker Beechcraft and the machinists union are currently attempting to negotiate a new contract. There is a year remaining on the current contract, but the union, at the request of Hawker earlier this year, agreed to reopen negotiations. Union officials are expecting an offer from Hawker in time for a member vote on October 9. According to Wood, it will be a simple vote to accept or reject the new contract. There won’t be a strike option if it is rejected.