North Sound braces for more Boeing job cuts, possibility of losing 787 production

Coronavirus continues to hammer the airline industry which means Boeing has also taken a big hit.  

On Wednesday morning, Boeing company executives said in the second quarter alone, it lost $2.4 billion.

The announcement came just months after the company slashed jobs in the commercial airline division by 15%.  

The struggles compounded pressure as the company continues efforts to get the 737 MAX recertified

Plus, businesses not specifically related to the aerospace industry said they too are bracing for bad news. 

“The need for daycare was different than it was before,” said Anne-Lise Nilson, manager at Camp Canine Doggie Day Care.

Nilson said recovery from the shutdown has been rough. Hours and days of operation were cutback and business is hovering about 40% of prior pandemic levels. Now that Boeing announced more job cuts may be ahead, the future looks hairy.

“Any changes there effects our demographics for those who bring their dogs in,” she said.

Low demand for new aircraft by the airline industry helped push the company farther into the red. Executives announced plans to move up retiring the 747, delayed others and planned to study potentially closing one of the two 787 lines to slash costs. 

“Even after 9-11 there was still planes going out,” said one Boeing factory floor employee who agreed to speak with Q13 News on condition of anonymity for fear of being reprimanded from the company for speaking out. 

He said while Boeing insists a decision about where the 787 will be produced has yet to be made, some consider South Carolina the de facto winner because of cost and capability. 

"Two months ago, I used to be very supportive of our management,” said the employee. “Unfortunately, I’ve lost that.”

 

“This is as bad as it’s ever been,” said Mark Behrends, VP of Pioneer Industries.

Behrends said his company has been a Boeing supplier for nearly 60 years and he has confidence in Boeing through the long-term and said job cuts have been necessary since the pandemic hit.

“We started with 182 employees and we’re at 110,” he said.

“They’ve invested $1 billion in the fifth largest building in the world in the carbon fiber wing factory,” said Dan Eernissee, Economic Development Director for the city of Everett.

He added that project was also built alongside the world’s largest manufacturing building which is testament to Boeing’s commitment to the region.

He continued saying while the pandemic zapped city revenues and short-term struggles would be hard, Boeing’s long-term presence is not in doubt.

Factory workers wondered if more job cuts might be shortsighted.

“Maybe they’ll do a voluntary again,” said the unnamed worker who added any further cuts to long time employees would result in the aerospace company losing experienced staff that are invaluable. 

The Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said in a statement there is no better place to build aircraft including the 787 and pledged the idea of losing jobs to factories out of state will be fought hard.