Boeing warns 279 union members of possible layoff

Boeing issued its latest round of 60-day layoff notices Friday, handing out 249 new notices to members of the Machinists union and 30 to members of the engineering union — but the number actually laid off in July may turn out to be considerably less.

Boeing issued its latest round of 60-day layoff notices Friday, handing out 249 new notices to members of the Machinists union and 30 to members of the engineering union.

The company declined to disclose the total number of layoff notices issued Friday, which would include nonunion employees.

The number of people actually laid off on July 21 may be considerably less than these figures suggest, however.

Boeing must give 60 days’ notice of a layoff by state law, but it may not follow through if enough employees leave due to normal attrition. In that case, some who received the layoff notices may find their jobs are saved.

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Friday marked 60 days since the International Association of Machinists got its first batch of 111 layoff notices on March 17, so it was the layoff date for that group of workers.

But the number of Machinists actually laid off on Friday was less than 20, because during the past two months some employees have retired, left for other jobs or accepted voluntary buyouts.

Boeing spokesman Doug Alder said it’s hard to say now how many of the current batch will be forced out in July. The situation is different for each individual on the layoff list, depending on their seniority and their job classification.

“The number actually laid off is usually less, sometimes slightly less, sometimes dramatically less,” Alder said. “Involuntary layoff is always the last option we look at.”

A more reliable measure of job losses is Boeing’s monthly running tally of total head count in the state, which tracks the total jobs shed,…

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