August 14, 2009
A new round of layoff notices are expected to go out at Cessna today, and a company official said the cuts will not be as deep as originally thought.
Cessna originally told workers the reduction would not exceed 500 workers. A company spokesman told KAKE News the actual number will be lower than that.
In an e-mail to employees, Cessna management said "While we continue to see signs of stabilization in the overall economy, we are not ready to say we've hit the bottom of this downturn".
The letter adds, "it is now apparent that we need to reduce the single-engine piston production schedule for 2009. This will result in a corresponding reduction in our work force in Independence and Columbus".
The letter also includes some new information offering employees flexibility in meeting furlough requirements.
Cessna has laid off more than 8,200 employees since November, 2008.
--Letter to Cessna workers
Since our return from the four-week furlough, the Senior Leadership Team has been evaluating recent developments in the overall economy and in our market segment. While we continue to see signs of stabilization in the overall economy, we are not ready yet to say we’ve hit the bottom of this downturn. The truth is our markets remain soft. As Textron announced in their recent earnings call, we’ve had to reduce our jet production for 2009, and it is now apparent that we need to reduce the single-engine piston production schedule for 2009. This will result in a corresponding reduction in our work force in Independence and Columbus. This workforce adjustment, along with the planned reduction already announced in my June 12 memo, will still not exceed 500 employees.
We have also received a number of suggestions from employees regarding the additional requirement for another three weeks of furlough by the end of the year. We have revisited the guidelines around the furlough requirement, taking into account our production goals and your input. Since many of you naturally looked to the short weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas to take required furlough time, it makes sense to close the facility for both these weeks, which we can do without compromising our delivery commitments to customers. We also received feedback requesting more flexibility in meeting the three-week requirement. As a result, we have made a few changes to the previously announced furlough schedule:
§ To allow employees greater flexibility in meeting the furlough requirements, we will track the required furlough time by hours instead of weeks. Every employee who is required to take seven weeks of furlough can now count 280 hours, instead of weeks or days. Any hours of vacation, PSL or Days Off Without Pay that have been taken since May 25 will count towards the 280 hour requirement.
§ The week of Thanksgiving (Nov. 23 – 29) and the week of Christmas (Dec. 21 – 27) will be a mandatory company furlough for all Cessna employees, except those who are required to work to meet customer commitments or other critical requirements.
o The three days before Thanksgiving (Nov. 23 – 25) and the three days before the December holiday shutdown (Dec. 21 – 23) will count toward the furlough requirement.
o Individuals who work during these furlough days will still be responsible to fulfill the furlough requirement of 280 hours prior to December 31.