Rotorcraft Update: Layoffs continue at Bell...

Aviation International News » January 2002
May 29, 2008, 9:43 AM

Coping with a slowdown in both commercial and military sales, Bell Helicopter has laid off 45 more nonunion employees, bringing to 800 the number of jobs it has eliminated in its Dallas/Fort Worth and Mirabel, Quebec plants since September. While the layoffs have been taken from nearly every division of the company, by far the largest percentage has come from manufacturing operations. Missteps in the progress of the MV-22 tiltrotor (a shared program with Boeing) have resulted in years of costly delay with that project, now well past the halfway point in its second decade of development. That faltering program, along with overall market lassitude, and a general dearth of new helicopter technology development, have combined to keep sales slow and the future uncertain. Rank-and-file workers aren’t the only Bell employees to fear for their jobs–in late September Bell chairman and chief executive Terry Stinson was fired by parent company Textron, which then named John Murphey, a long-time Bell executive, to replace Stinson.

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