Boeing Fears 737 Worker Exodus in Tightest Job Market in Decades
...a grounding that stretches months longer.
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August 29, 2019 - by By Julie Johnsson and Jeff Kearns for bloomberg.com
- In high demand, experienced engineers could switch industries
- Planemaker considers temporary closure of Max factory lines
Boeing Co. aims to clear its 737 Max for flight as soon as October. But the planemaker also is plotting how it would respond to a far worse scenario: a grounding that stretches months longer.
Complicating both efforts is the tightest U.S. labor market in half a century. With experienced mechanics and engineers increasingly difficult to hire, Boeing is pondering what once loomed as a last-ditch choice -- a temporary factory shutdown -- to preserve its workforce.
The Chicago-based company wants to avoid a potential unraveling of manufacturing expertise across a broad swath of North America as its recovers from the Max crisis.
That's the risk if large numbers of highly skilled workers from the 600 mostly U.S. companies building components for the jet were to move on to other jobs at a time of historically low unemployment.
The company is studying whether to pause Max manufacturing for a short, clearly defined period of time, according to people familiar with the matter.
They figure that approach would conserve cash and be less likely to trigger widespread layoffs than imposing another factory slowdown.
Boeing officials won't...
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