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Archive for Tuesday, October 1, 2002

Cessna announces 400 job cuts at Wichita facility

October 1, 2002

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— Cessna announced Monday it was laying off 400 workers after it failed to get enough takers for voluntary buyouts.

The company said in June it hoped to reduce its work force by about 900 people through voluntary buyouts.

The cuts come as orders for the company's Citation business jet slow.

"We have diligently worked to avoid reductions," said Cessna spokesman Jessica Myers.

"We have taken a lot of steps to do that including no hire, attrition, voluntary separations, reducing overhead expenses, and even with those steps we just haven't been able to reduce our work force enough so it is in alignment with the production schedule for 2003," she said.

Cessna said the layoffs will come in the next 30 days, coming on top of another 400 job cuts achieved through the voluntary separation package.

The company did not say whether it planned more reductions to meet the 900-job goal set earlier this year.

This has been a record year for Cessna, with 300 deliveries of the Citation business jet. But the company expects that to fall to 250 deliveries in 2003, she said.

The announcement comes after Friday's announcement by Montreal-based Bombardier that it would cut 2,000 jobs, including 50 in Wichita.

Wichita's aircraft manufacturing industry was sent reeling after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and a weakening economy. Boeing was the first to announce layoffs, cutting 5,000 Wichita jobs.

In the months that followed, Raytheon and Bombardier also laid off scores more in a succession of announcements.

So far, more than 10,000 Wichita aviation workers have lost their jobs.

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