Friday, May 11, 2012
Hawker Beechcraft has announced their decision to reduce their staff by another 150 positions as it continues restructuring under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The employees are receiving 60-day WARN notices Friday.
Earlier this month, the planemaker reached a debt restructuring agreement it says will keep it in business. Hawker said filing bankruptcy will strengthen the company for the future and eliminate approximately $2.5 billion in debt and approximately $125 million of annual cash interest expense.
In April, Hawker announced it planned to layoff 350 Wichita workers. Before the layoffs, the company employed approximately 4,700 workers at their Wichita plant. They must maintain a 4,000-worker threshold set by the state and local governments in their package of incentives to keep Hawker in Wichita.
Hawker CEO Bill Boisture issued the following letter to employees:
Fellow Hawker Beechcraft Employees:
As we continue the process of balancing our production levels to market demand, we face the difficult task of making additional changes to previously planned schedules and resizing our work force.
Today, we are announcing a reduction in force that will impact approximately 150 hourly and non-hourly employees in several areas of the Operations organization on HBC's Wichita campus. Affected employees are receiving a 60-day Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) today.
We want to emphasize that although this decision to issue WARN notices comes one week after the company filing for Chapter 11 protection, the need for these reductions is driven by market conditions and the need to adjust production schedules, not by the filing itself.
In operating our business in the normal course, we must continue to be good stewards of our cash and balance our production rate with the challenging and rapidly changing environment we continue to face. We will initiate reductions in force to match product demand and implement furloughs as appropriate to ensure that our manufacturing operations are matched to material availability.
While this announcement may cause a distraction, we encourage you to remain focused on your jobs as we carry on our effort to become a smaller, more agile company that will remain competitive in the future.
We will continue communicating with you regarding any news affecting the company and our employees.
Steve Miller Bill Boisture
Hawker Beechcraft, Inc. Hawker Beechcraft Corporation