70 workers let go at Hawker Beechcraft

Jan. 14, 2010
Wichita planemakers have cut some 13,000 jobs since Nov. '08


Jan. 13--Hawker Beechcraft issued 60-day layoff notices to 70 employees on Monday, the first layoffs by a Wichita planemaker in 2010.

Some of the employees work on the company's King Air line and some are material handlers, a union official said.

"The company does not have any comments or information to provide," said Hawker Beechcraft spokeswoman Nicole Alexander.

Since late 2008, Hawker Beechcraft has laid off 3,220 employees in Wichita and 267 at its Salina plant, which it is closing.

In all, Wichita planemakers have cut about 13,000 jobs since November 2008.

Wichita suppliers and subcontractors to the industry also have laid off workers and cut back hours.

Cessna cut about 8,200 jobs in the downturn. It's now recalling about 180 hourly employees as the company restarts its Citation Sovereign production line. The first group of employees returned to work on Monday.

Machinists union District 70 president Steve Rooney said it's difficult to know what might happen this year with employment.

"I think there's indications that (the manufacturers) have made the cuts that they believe would get them through their 2010 schedules," Rooney said. "Analysts and others are indicating there might be some very slight growth in 2010."

But no one can tell for sure, he said. "We don't have a crystal ball."

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or [email protected].