Boeing considering 10% payroll cut after coronavirus pandemic shuts down plane manufacturing

In this Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, file photo, a Boeing worker walks in view of a 737 MAX jet in Renton, Wash.

Elaine Thompson | AP

Boeing is considering a range of options to reduce its payroll by approximately 10%, sources familiar with the plan confirmed to CNBC.

No decision has been reached yet but the final reduction would likely include voluntary layoffs, early retirements, natural attrition and potentially mandatory layoffs.

Boeing has approximately 160,000 employees worldwide, but the payroll cuts are likely to focus on the commercial airplane division, which is facing major financial pressure. Boeing is not manufacturing any commercial airplanes due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

On Monday the company said it would suspend production of 787 Dreamliner planes in South Carolina because of the coronavirus pandemic, a move that put all of the manufacturer’s production of commercial airplanes on hold.

The announcement came after South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered most residents to stay at home except for certain activities such as buying essential goods or visiting family.

Even before Boeing shut down all of its plants due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it had suspended production at its Renton, Washington plant where the 737 Max is manufactured. 

On Wednesday, Boeing’s rival Airbus said it will cut commercial airplane production by a third due to an expected drop in demand for new planes as airlines around the world are expected to defer or cancel orders.

CNBC’s Leslie Josephs contributed to this story.

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