Bombardier to lay off more than 500 Wichita employees

By: KAKE News - Email
By: KAKE News - Email
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WICHITA, Kan. — Bombardier is laying off 1,700 employees across Canada and the U.S., including more than 500 at Learjet in Wichita.

CBC News in Canada is reporting that Bombardier is laying off 1,700 employees, specifically 1,100 in Canada and 600 in the U.S.

Those layoffs include 550 employees at Learjet in Wichita. Two hundred of those were contract employees who left at the end of 2013.

Earlier this month, an internal memo at Learjet said about 300 employees would face furloughs during the first half of this year. Those furloughs involve Learjet 70 and Learjet 75 production and direct support workers at the Wichita plant. More on that story here.

Bombardier Spokeswoman Annette Cossette in Montreal says, "We're continuing to see encouraging signs in the medium to long term global economy. But the aviation industry is still facing challenges, especially in the light business jet category, specifically affecting Learjet. So as a result we had to make a difficult decision to insure the long term success of our business."

Cossette says the layoffs will impact union and non-union employees. She says, "Mainly manufacturing and assembly, engineering, sales and after market."

She says, "This will affect all Learjet programs. However, we're working very hard to insure that all our aircraft deliveries won't be impacted here in Wichita."

Cossette says there are about 3,000 employees at Bombardier Learjet. So a layoff of 550 is just over 18% of the local work force.

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