Chicago-based Boeing Co would prune its Seattle-area manufacturing work force by 2,000 to 2,300 by the end of the year, which included around 800 layoffs, the company confirmed yesterday.
Though the cut backs involved employees working on the 787 Dreamliner, the reduction was not related to halted deliveries of the highly touted plane, which was grounded worldwide after two separate incidents with batteries catching fire.
Cuts also extended to workers on the newest version of the Boeing 747, as the development stage of both plane models neared completion.
According to Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel, it was always expected that employment requirements would come down on the programs as the company transitioned into stable production. Similar cutbacks had been confirmed by the company at its 787 production in South Carolina, where it was cutting contract-labour work force by hundreds.
In addition to layoffs, the company would redeploy a number of workers and leave open vacant positions primarily associated with what Boeing called ''change incorporation and refurbishment,'' it said. According to Birtel, the company had already redeployed over 500 workers this year.
He added, the cuts had no impact on Boeing's headquarters in Chicago.
He said, the employment environment would continue to evolve and be dynamic, adding Boeing would manage the environment to minimise impact to employees, mitigate disruption and meet the needs of the business.
The job cuts are expected to mainly affect work in post-assembly modification activities on the 787, the cutting edge jetliner that remains grounded worldwide since mid-January due to a battery problem, and on the 747 long-haul aircraft.
The activities, termed "change incorporation and refurbishment", by Boeing, come during the development phase of new aircraft.
Aircraft that are not part of flight testing undergo "change incorporation", meaning they are configured to conform with the standards established as part of the effort to certify the air worthiness of the aircraft.
Aircraft used in test flights are refurbished following completion of the flight test activities.
According to Boeing it had already redeployed over 500 employees since the beginning of 2013.
The company delivered its first 787 Dreamliner to All Nippon Airways in September 2011, following which, in May 2012, Lufthansa took delivery of the first 747-8 Intercontinental, an elongated version of the 747 wide body aircraft.