Boeing is Laying Off Employees in South Carolina
Aircraft and rocket manufacturing behemoth Boeing Co has announced that it will be laying off a number of employees at its North Charleston, South Carolina manufacturing facility. The affected employees include managers and salaried workers.
Boeing has not given an official number of layoffs, although one of the affected employees said that the number is somewhere below 200.
This is the first time that the North Charleston plant has been being hit with job cuts. Boeing’s South Carolina Vice President and General Manager, Joan Robinson-Berry, has indicated, however, that more layoffs may follow.
The company has said that the layoffs are part of the Boeing’s cost-cutting efforts as it tries to keep up with its competitors. “We are all aware of the need to be more competitive in a relentlessly challenging industry,” said Robinson-Berry in a memo sent to employees. Boeing faces stiff competition from its French competitor, Airbus.
Employees working in various departments within the North Charleston facility will be affected, including Engineering, Operations Management, Quality, Staff Analysis, Industrial Engineering, Office Administration, and Training.
Thousands of Boeing Workers Let Go
The company’s cost-cutting program was announced last December and, since then, thousands of Boeing workers at various facilities—particularly in Washington State—have been sent home. Up until now, the jobs of employees at the North Charleston factory had remained safe.
Boeing is one of the largest employers in North Charleston. Boeing South Carolina employed about 7,379 employees and contractors as of May 25. The latest round of layoffs has cut the workforce to its lowest level since November 2013, when the company had about 7,123 employees in the city.
In North Charleston, 863 positions have been slashed by the company over the last year, which is about a 10.5% reduction in jobs since May 2016.
Throughout the company, Boeing has cut about 13,970 jobs over the past year. This accounts for roughly a nine percent reduction in its workforce in 12 months.
The North Charleston plant builds Boeing’s 787-10 “Dreamliner” aircraft. Just months prior to these layoffs, President Donald Trump visited the plant and promised to bring more Americans “back to work.”
“Boeing announces layoffs in South Carolina,” ABC News 4, June 22, 2017.
“Layoffs announced for first time at Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner campus, other North Charleston operations,” The Post and Courier, June 22, 2017.