'It really tears at your heart:' Boeing employee shares concern for planned layoffs

SEATTLE -- Our local economy is about to take yet another hit thanks to coronavirus.

On Thursday, Boeing company leaders announced a plan to reduce the number of employees as worldwide demand for aircraft is expected to change drastically.

Boeing’s CEO called the current economic climate ‘uncharted waters,’ and in order to stay successful, the company must make changes.

Q13 News also spoke with a North Sound Boeing employee who worries the company will lose a workforce that has years of experience.

“It really tears at your heart to see this,” the man told Q13 News.

The employee asked Q13 News to conceal his identity because he does not want to get in trouble for speaking out.

“Very uneasy times at this point,” he said. “Especially since they suspended operations.”

The 737 MAX has been grounded for months and that already made a significant impact at the company. Now with the possibility of volunteer layoffs due to an economy-killing pandemic, the employee says the once-held security of having a solid job at Boeing is no longer foolproof.

“You were on top of the world if you were working for Boeing,” he said.

In a statement from the company’s CEO Boeing announced it would seek voluntary layoffs that offers money and benefits for those who come forward. The voluntary layoffs, including natural turnover, are meant to reduce the need workforce reductions in the future.

The Seattle Times reports the voluntary layoffs could mean thousands of jobs

Included in the announcement, Boeing said more information about who is eligible for any voluntary layoff plan would be coming within the month.