Boeing Co. announces 300 job cuts in Australian unit

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Chicago, IL, United States (4E) – Boeing Co. said it will reduce around 300 positions in its Australian unit as the country continues to see a decline in manufacturing.

The jobs cuts will take effect by the end of the year in line with a long-established financial forecast, according to Caroline Bell, a spokeswoman for the world’s biggest planemaker, in an e-mailed statement.

Australia hosts Boeing’s second-biggest manufacturing operation beyond North America and employs around 1,300 workers making aircraft wing components that include the 787 Dreamliner.

The decision comes after similar announcements this week by Philip Morris International Inc. and BP Plc to cut more than 500 jobs and the shutdown of two plants. BP said it would end operations of its Bulwer Island refinery in Queensland by 2015, resulting to 355 job losses. Philip Morris said it would close a 60-year-old cigarette plant located in Melbourne, laying off 180 workers.

Boeing said the move has always been the intention of the company once its aircraft programs stabilized at full production rates. Employment reduction in these programs is a natural part of the manufacturing cycle, the company said in a statement.

Boeing’s overall order backlog reached a record $374bn after clients ordered 1,531 aircraft in 2013, according to Chief Executive W. James McNerney during an investor call on Jan. 30.

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