More Layoffs May Be In Store For Wichita's Aviation Industry

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Signs are pointing to what could possibly be an announcement of Hawker Beechcraft layoffs at the end of the week.

Everyone at Hawker Beechcraft knows the layoffs are coming. The question is when, how many jobs will be cut and what other actions the company might have to make such as furloughs and line shut downs.

"We're just hearing that we're supposed to find out something out either Thursday or Friday of this week. They'll give us some numbers," said Hawker Beechcraft employee, Russell Booth.

The numbers could be large. One management source says they could exceed 2,700 employees. Another management source says 2,700 is too high.

One reason Hawker Beechcraft may be waiting to give the announcement has to do with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, commonly referred to as WARN.

Mass layoffs exceeding 500 employees, by law, requires 60-day notice. Hawker laid off 490 employees last November, just 10 employees shy of triggering the WARN Act.

The coming layoff will trigger WARN.

The WARN Act says job losses in any 90-day period will count together toward WARN threshold levels. Friday marks the 91st day since the November layoffs.

Hawker Beechcraft doesn't want to have to give those laid off in November two months' pay by announcing their new layoffs earlier.

The company is neither confirming nor denying this.

It doesn't pay for them to wait any longer than they have to, because management has stated their desire to protect their cash flow.

Stay tuned, layoffs will likely be announced Thursday or Friday.

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