Hawker Confirms 300 Employees Received WARN Notices

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UPDATE: Monday, November 14, 2011

Hawker Beechcraft released a statement confirming the number of workers affected by a workforce reduction.

The company said 300 Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notices (WARN) were issued to bargaining unit and non-bargaining unit employees Friday.

The release also said Hawker Beechcraft executives communicated with members of our city, county and state governments about the layoffs last week. Hawker leaders said the reductions met the requirements set forth in the agreement with the State of Kansas. That agreement requires Hawker to maintain a local employee level of at least 4,000.

Prior to this workforce reduction, the company’s Kansas total employment was 4,900.

Friday, November 11, 2011

There was more bad news for the Air Capital's aviation industry Friday.

Three hundred layoff warn notices were issued Friday. The company confirmed the layoffs, but would not release the number. The number of layoffs was provided to KAKE News by the Machinists Union.

Most of the layoffs at Hawker this time around are employees who are not part of the Machinists Union's bargaining unit. According to union business representative Rita Rogers, a total of 300 layoff notices were given. She says that includes 210 non-union employees and 90 covered by the union labor agreement. Those include tooling, maintenance and sheet metal assemblers.

Hawker CEO Bill Boisture signaled in a letter to employees last week these layoffs were coming, He said the general and business aviation market is showing few signs of growth and said the company has to be resized to fit the current and expected market.

Last December, the company made an agreement with the state and local governments to keep its main headquarters and most of its work here at least through 2020. In exchange, the state is giving Hawker $40 million. The city and county together provided $5 million in in tax exempt bonds to make plant improvements and train employees.

That agreement requires Hawker to maintain a local employee level of at least 4,000. Even with the latest layoffs, Hawker will stay above that number.

The company's statement about Friday's notices can be read below:

Statement from Hawker Beechcraft:

"Hawker Beechcraft Chairman and CEO Bill Boisture informed employees on Nov. 4 that those affected by the reduction in force would be notified on Friday, Nov. 11. Most of these employees were notified today; however we do not have a specific number to share. We can confirm that the Kansas employment level after this workforce reduction will stay well above what our partnership with the state of Kansas requires.

"The company has no further comments at this time."

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