SEATTLE – About 10,000 Boeing Co. workers will be out of a job by the end of December as part of plans by the world's biggest planemaker to cut up to 30,000 jobs by the end of 2002, the company said on Wednesday.
The layoffs at Boeing's commercial jet unit, driven by slumping sales to airlines hemorrhaging cash following the Sept. 11 hijack attacks, would begin on Dec. 14, a Boeing spokesman said.
Chicago-based Boeing, which announced the planned lay-offs last week, will let go another 10,000 workers by the middle of 2002, and the final 10,000 will be laid off by the end of 2002, Boeing said.
Employees will get 60 days warning and then two-week layoff notices and will receive severance pay, according to the company and a union representing over 26,000 machinists who assemble airplanes at Boeing's Seattle-area jetliner plants.
Each laid-off worker will receive one week's pay for each full year of company service as of the layoff date, up to a maximum of 26 weeks' pay, Boeing said.
Of the 200,000 employees on its current payroll, Boeing employs over 96,000 commercial jet workers spread across the country, including most of the 80,000 workers employed in Washington state.
All major U.S. airlines except No. 7 Southwest Airlines Co. have announced cuts in jobs and flight service and more than 120,000 job cuts have been announced by the aviation industry.
Airlines have also delayed delivery of many Boeing jetliners originally scheduled as early as the fourth quarter. Boeing has cut its 2001 delivery forecast to about 500 from 538 before the Sept. 11 attacks.
For 2002, the delivery forecast is now about 400, down from 510 to 520, and Boeing said the 2003 totals could be even lower.
Boeing on Tuesday said it had booked 11 orders for its popular 737 narrow-body jet and nine orders for 767 wide-bodies to unnamed customers. But four of the 737 orders replaced previous orders for 767s, which were canceled.
Delta Air Lines Inc., the No. 3 U.S. carrier, on Wednesday said it had asked Boeing to delay jet deliveries and other carriers have made similar statements.
In response, Boeing has offered to finance some orders or lease planes to carriers originally slated to purchase them.
Airline revenues, already shrinking before the attacks that leveled New York's World Trade Center and blasted a hole in the Pentagon, have since plunged as passengers have canceled flight plans.
Delta Chief Executive Leo Mullin on Wednesday predicted an ''extraordinary large loss'' for the carrier this year, despite a $15 billion federal aid package approved by lawmakers last week.