SPEEA: Boeing reduces staff in U.S., increases outsourcing to Moscow

SEATTLE, 18 April 2013. Officials at Boeing Commercial Airplanes are outsourcing engineering work to Russia while laying off up to 1,700 employees in the U.S., recognizes the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001.

Apr 19th, 2013

SEATTLE, 18 April 2013. Officials at Boeing Commercial Airplanes are outsourcing engineering work to Russia while laying off up to 1,700 employees in the U.S., recognizes the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President of Engineering Mike Delaney reportedly informed company managers of the intention to lay off up to 700 engineers this year as part of a plan to reduce the engineering staff by up to 1,700 people in all.

SPEEA, IFPTE Local 2001, a professional aerospace labor union, released the following statement:

As The Boeing Company works to assure the FAA and customers the 787 is ready to resume service, the company today (Thursday, April 18) announced plans to reduce its workforce by 1,500 to 1,700 engineers and technical workers–the same Northwest employees who found remedies to the problems caused by misguided corporate outsourcing.

What Boeing Commercial Airplane Vice President of Engineering Mike Delaney did not say in his message to employees announcing the reduction is it comes hand-in-hand with a new push to outsource more 787 engineering and technical work to the Moscow Design Center, SPEEA said. Information of the push to send more work to Moscow came from multiple and varied sources within Boeing.

“We find it extremely disappointing that Boeing Commercial Airplanes is actively outsourcing engineering work to the Moscow Design Center while laying off employees in the Northwest,” said Ray Goforth, executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001.

SPEEA contract administrators are working to get more information regarding Boeing’s employment reduction. The action, which could include 700 layoffs, will be closely monitored for compliance with SPEEA contracts and company procedures. The union is already working with a number of managers who are helping employees find new positions within Boeing.

While the company says it is outsourcing less, SPEEA said key operations are continuing the push to use contract labor over more experienced and committed full-time Boeing employees.

Boeing’s recent decision to move flight simulators from Renton to Miami will also result in the elimination of 36 simulator instructor pilot and five standards pilot positions by the first quarter of 2014. Last fall, members in SPEEA’s Airplane Manufacturing Pilots Association (AMPA) bargaining unit cast a vote of “no confidence” in Flight Services Management based on the escalating practice of using temporary, contract pilots to train the pilots of airlines buying Boeing aircraft.

A local of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), SPEEA represents 26,560 aerospace professionals at Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems in Kansas, and Triumph Composite Systems Inc. in Spokane, Wash.

More in Commercial