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Boeing to lay off hundreds at satellite business

news
26 August 2015

Boeing on Monday said it had started issuing notices for possibly hundreds of layoffs at its satellite business, a move it blamed partly on the stalled reauthorisation of the US Export-Import Bank, which supported many of its sales.

According to the aerospace giant, it expected to lay off "several hundred" workers over the coming months and into early 2016.

In July, Boeing Co chairman Jim McNerney said the aircraft maker was actively looking to move "key pieces" of its operations to other countries given uncertainty about the future of the US Export-Import Bank, whose charter expired on 30 June (See: Boeing looking to move key operations to other countries).

Boeing declined to name which part of its satellite business, based largely in Southern California, would be affected by the cuts.

A Boeing spokeswoman told The Denver Post on Tuesday that "at this time we do not believe there should be an impact to our workforce in Colorado."

The aircraft maker confirmed last week that it  had lost a satellite deal from Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS) as it failed to secure financing.

"While this is not solely being caused by the expiration of Ex-Im Bank, this is a factor for the customers who have decided to maybe hit the pause button or look somewhere else," the spokesman said of the planned job cuts.

According to Neale, Boeing officials were still working with ABS, based in Bermuda and Hong Kong, to find an alternate financing solution, but ABS was actively discussing with other satellite makers that had access to government trade credits.

He added, the cuts were required to ''remain competitive for ongoing and future business.''

Those who favoured Exim said it generated revenue for the US government and also helped level the playing field for US companies whose rivals in other countries received similar trade credits.

''While this [planned job cuts] is not exclusively being caused by the expiration of EXIM Bank, this is a factor for the customers who have chosen to maybe hit the pause button or look somewhere else'', a Boeing spokesman said, as cited by The Wall Street Journal.

According to commentators, many smaller companies that depended on credit ratings provided by Exim bank, too had started experiencing hard times.

''Hardworking Americans at Boeing's El Segundo facility, at plants and companies across our nation, deserve much, much better than to have their livelihoods jeopardized by the most cynical kind of partisan politics practiced by Tea Party Republicans'', representative Ted Lieu, Democrat Los Angeles, said.





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