Saturday, November 12, 2011

Union: Hawker Beechcraft hands out 300 layoff notices

(WICHITA, Kan.)—  An unknown number of Hawker Beechcraft employees were told today they would lose their jobs. The company handed out 60-day warn notices.

A machinist union representative says a total of 300 layoff notices were given including 210 non-union employees and 90 covered by the union labor agreement. Those include tooling, maintenance and sheet metal assemblers.

Hawker released the following statement about the layoffs:

"Hawker Beechcraft Chairman and CEO Bill Boisture informed employees on Nov. 4 that those affected by the reduction in force would be notified on Friday, Nov. 11. Most of these employees were notified today; however we do not have a specific number to share. We can confirm that the Kansas employment level after this workforce reduction will stay well above what our partnership with the state of Kansas requires. The company has no further comments at this time."

Hawker is required to keep 4,000 employees in Wichita under an agreement with the state. Last year, the state, City of Wichita and Sedgwick County gave the company $45 million in incentives. The money was provided to keep Hawker's product line in town.
Original Story, November 4

Hawker Beechcraft plans to downsize its Wichita workforce, but it isn't sure at this time how many people will be laid off.

Chairman and CEO Bill Boisture distributed letters to employees Friday. In the letter he says there are pent up demands for Hawker products, but major world economies are creating problems for the company. He cites unrest in the Middle East, Europe's debt crisis and continued budget shortfalls in the United States.

"The combination of these factors brings us to a decision to continue to resize and align our company to a market that is projected, for the next two years, to remain small relative to past markets and which projects modest growth rates beyond that time. The necessary reductions in force will affect all levels of our company. Affected employees will be given a 60-day Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice (WARN) on November 11. Each employee will be notified of whether he/she will be required to work during all or some portion of the 60-day WARN period based on business needs," the letter states.

The letter was released just four days after Hawker posted decreased revenues for the third quarter.

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