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Originally published March 28, 2012 at 11:08 AM | Page modified March 29, 2012 at 12:46 PM

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Boeing warns 39 defense employees of layoffs

Boeing issued 60-day layoff notices Monday to 39 employees who have been working on the F-22 jet fighter and the 737 airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C) programs.

Seattle Times aerospace reporter

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Boeing issued 60-day layoff notices Monday to 39 employees who have been working on the F-22 jet fighter and the 737 airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C) programs.

Ray Goforth, executive director of the white-collar union, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), said 32 of those receiving the notices are members of his union, either engineers or technical professionals.

F-22 production is completed and the AEW&C program — which built versions of the surveillance aircraft for Australia, South Korea and Turkey — is shrinking as all three foreign contracts mature. Two AEW&C aircraft were delivered to South Korea in September and December.

However, given the hiring boom on the commercial airplane side of the company, Goforth said he assumes that most of the people on the list will find jobs elsewhere within Boeing before the May 28 layoff date.

"Once they issue the layoff notice, the process kicks in to place them in other jobs," said Goforth.

Boeing spokesman Stephen Davis said Boeing's overall hiring needs in the Puget Sound region are currently high, so "there's a very strong chance" that the final number of layoffs will be smaller than the number of notices issued.

Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or dgates@seattletimes.com

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