(Updates number of voluntary layoffs, adds Boeing comment,
information from engineering union, closing stock price)
By Alwyn Scott
SEATTLE, March 2 Boeing Co has accepted
1,880 voluntary layoffs from its union machinists and engineers
in the Seattle area, the unions said on Thursday, part of the
jet maker's drive to cut costs through job reductions and other
Boeing's machinists union, the touch labor that builds
airplanes near Seattle, said about 1,575 workers had taken
voluntary layoffs by the deadline in February.
Boeing's white-collar union said Boeing accepted 305 members
for voluntary layoffs in January. Last year, Boeing cut about
1,200 white-collar union jobs - 850 through voluntary layoffs
and 350 through involuntary reductions, said Bill Dugovich,
spokesman for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees
"Boeing has told us to expect about the same number of total
layoffs in 2017 as 2016," he said.
The job reductions had been announced last year and workers
had until Feb. 1 to apply.
"These are all voluntary, where people planned to retire or
had other plans," said Connie Kelliher, a spokeswoman for the
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
Boeing said it did not have a specific target number for its
job reductions at the commercial airplane unit but was sticking
with the broad plan of reducing jobs it outlined in December.
"We are reducing costs and aligning employment levels to
business and market requirements," spokesman Paul Bergman said.
"Employment reductions will come through a combination of
attrition, leaving open positions unfilled, voluntary layoff
program and in some cases, involuntary layoffs."
Boeing offered the buyouts to workers last year as part of
an 8 percent workforce reduction at its commercial airplane
business. The unit had about 74,600 workers at the end of
February. Boeing said in December it would cut an
as-yet-undetermined number of jobs in 2017.
No machinists have had involuntary layoffs for several
years, Kelliher said.
Boeing's shares closed down 0.5 percent at $182.99 on the
New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Alwyn Scott in Seattle; Additional reporting by
Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and