by Richard Tomkins
St. Louis (UPI) Sep 30, 2014
Boeing is moving much of its defense services and support activities from Washington State to other locations, the company announced.
The move, which will take as much as three years to complete, will improve the competitiveness of its Boeing Defense, Space & Security unit, the company said.
The majority of the defense services and security work in Washington State will be moved to Oklahoma City and St. Louis, where it is also being performed, and some will be shifted to Jacksonville, Fla., and Patuxent River, Md.
It's estimated about 1,000 workers in Washington will face job loss as a result of the move.
Programs to be relocated include services and support work for Airborne Warning and Control Systems, Airborne Early Warning & Control and the F-22 Raptor.
"Consolidating this work will allow the business to more efficiently use the resources and capabilities across the company," explained Jim O'Neill, president of Global Services and Support for Boeing Defense, Space & Security. "Our goal is to minimize disruption to program execution by making the necessary changes in an orderly transition."
Boeing said it will provide assistance and resources to help employees being terminated in the Puget Sound area of Washington and would also leverage Boeing Commercial Airplanes' presence there to mitigate the impact of the move on individual employees.
The planned move will not affect company work in Puget Sound on P-8 maritime patrol aircraft and the KC-46A tanker.
"We are committed to the long-term success of Boeing in Puget Sound," said Chris Chadwick, Boeing Defense, Space & Security president and chief executive officer. "Both the P-8 and the KC-46A tanker have decades-long production runs in front of them."
Boeing's said its facility in Oklahoma City could see 900 jobs added as a result of the move, while as many as 500 jobs could be added in St. Louis.
The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, IFPTE Local 2001, decried the relocation plan, calling it a snub to its members and to Washington State, whose legislators had approved $8.7 billion in tax breaks for the state's aerospace industry in November of last year.
The union represents more than 1,800 employees at Boeing's Kent Space Center and Seattle Developmental Center, which will be affected by the company move.
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com
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