Onex Won't Be Given List of Laid-Off Boeing Workers

March 22, 2005
Laid-off workers eligible to be rehired at Boeing Wichita will have to apply if they want to work for the company that will buy part of Boeing Wichita, Boeing says.

In the last six months, 390 people have been called back to work at the Wichita site. And hundreds likely will retain the right to do the same when eligible jobs with Boeing become available.

However, for workers who are laid off, employment information won't automatically go to Onex Corp., as it will for current Boeing employees.

Earlier this month, Boeing issued 60-day layoff notices to 8,100 employees to make way for Onex Corp. to buy Boeing's commercial assets in Wichita, Tulsa and McAlester, Okla. At that time, Boeing also asked employees to sign waivers that would allow it to give Onex their personnel information.

Boeing said the notices and waivers will speed the offer process for Onex and the employees.

Boeing continues to keep track of its laid-off workers on a recall list. But Boeing will not share the list with Onex after the sale is complete, said Boeing spokesman Dick Ziegler.

"We typically do not share that list because of the information on it," Ziegler said. "It has a lot of privacy information on it."

Onex managing director Nigel Wright said that the new company expects to hire its work force "principally from the current active work force and people on authorized leaves of absence" from Boeing.

The recall list likely will be a topic of discussion during contract talks with Onex, said Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace Midwest director Bob Brewer.

"We want everybody that was laid off at Boeing after 9/11 to have the opportunity to come back and perform that same job -- whether it's with Boeing or Onex," Brewer said.

A hundred and fifty to 200 former SPEEA-represented workers remain on the recall list, he said.

A spokesman for the Machinists, Boeing's largest union, did not return calls for comment.