St. Louis Public Radio News
6:56 am
Thu August 10, 2006

Boeing announces 77 layoffs in St. Louis

St. Louis – Boeing said Thursday it plans to cut 77 jobs in St. Louis.

The positions are in the company's manufacturing division.

Company spokeswoman Lynn Steinberg said the layoffs are the result of a downturn in demand for military aircraft.

"Over the past three years, we've worked very hard to hold employment stable, despite reductions in the production rate of the F/A-18, the T-45 as well as the transition of the Joint Unmanned Combat Air System," Steinberg said.

All of the people Boeing plans to lay off belong to the International Association of Machinists.

IAM spokesman Tom Pinski said the news came as a surprise, because the union did not notice any downturn in demand.

"It is the machinists that build the aircraft, and typically when there's a major change, we know about it, and we haven't seen that yet," Pinski said.

Pinski said the union is negotiating with Boeing in the hopes of reducing the cuts. He said the company could send the workers 60-day layoff notices as early as next week.