Boeing offers voluntary layoff package to 161,000 employees

Jobless claims for the past week will be reported in half an hour. They are expected to be at least several million, but they don’t even capture new shutdowns in many states (including Florida).

They also do not include what Boeing – one of the United States’ largest manufacturers and the country’s largest exporter:

Boeing Co. offered voluntary buyouts to eligible employees, in a bid to quickly shed costs and adjust its work force of 161,000 to a coronavirus crisis that’s quickly undermined the outlook for aircraft sales.

“When the world emerges from the pandemic, the size of the commercial market and the types of products and services our customers want and need will likely be different,” Chief Executive Officer David Calhoun said in a message to employees Thursday. “It’s important we start adjusting to our new reality now.”

The move will preserve much-needed cash at Boeing, which is facing a sharp contraction in demand along with its European archrival Airbus SE. Airline customers around the world have slashed schedules, with some parking their entire fleets as the coronavirus pandemic guts travel. About 44% of aircraft across the globe are in storage, according to an estimate by Cirium, and with virus cases approaching 1 million worldwide, there’s no telling when carriers will return to normal schedules, no less buying planes.

“With no cash coming in, you have to cut your fixed costs quickly,” said Nick Cunningham, an analyst at Agency Partners based in London, adding that salaries make up the biggest portion of the company’s fixed costs. “As painful as it is going to be, Boeing needs to reduce workers. If you don’t, you’ll destroy the company.”

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