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Boeing S.C. technicians, inspectors receive voluntary layoff offers

Manufacturing
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Boeing has extended voluntary layoff offers to an undisclosed number of flight readiness technicians and inspectors. (Photo/Kim McManus)

An undisclosed number of Boeing South Carolina workers who help ensure 787 Dreamliners are flight-ready have received voluntary layoff notices.

Flight-ready technicians and flight readiness technician inspectors received voluntary layoff letters from Boeing a few weeks ago, company spokeswoman Loretta Gunter said in an email. Workers must decide whether to accept by Friday.

The company declined to share how many employees received the offers.

Boeing has been shedding thousands of jobs, particularly in Washington state, since early 2016, when company executives said cost-cutting measures were needed to boost the manufacturer’s competitiveness with rival Airbus. Around 7,400 jobs were cut in Washington last year, and more layoffs have occurred in 2017, according to The Seattle Times.

As of July 27, Boeing South Carolina employed 7,236 people — down 329 workers from January, according to company data. The S.C. site had its highest employment in March 2014 with about 8,400 employees, data show.

No involuntary layoffs occurred during this most recent round of notices at Boeing South Carolina. In June, Boeing sent fewer than 200 involuntary layoff notices to employees in a variety of departments — a first for the North Charleston campus. Those workers do not leave payroll until Aug. 25, Gunter said.

Voluntary layoffs have occurred at the Lowcountry aerospace campus in the past. In April 2016, 200 workers received voluntary notices, followed by 600 voluntary notices handed out in January.

In the past year, the Boeing S.C. site opened a new paint facility for Dreamliners, rolled out the first 787-10 Dreamliner, was visited by President Donald Trump and held a unionization election with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in which voters overwhelmingly turned down union representation.

Boeing’s Lowcountry operations include building all three models of the 787 Dreamliner, producing interior components for the 787, making engine parts for the 737 Max and 777X, and running centers for information technology and for research.

Reach Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119.

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August 30, 2017

Right to work brought thousands of good jobs to South Carolina and will keep them in South Carolina.

August 08, 2017

So the no vote by the workers allowed Boeing the freedom to do as they please. The kids are going back to school, Christmas is coming, And Boeing says goodbye to workers because they need more money. Sooner or later the people will realize that its not ok to steal their talent and labor which made Boeing SC great.