Boeing reducing reliance on contract workers

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Officials with Boeing say they are not laying off any direct Boeing Commercial Airplane employees, but reducing their reliance on contract labor which officials say has been the plan all along.

The Wall Street Journal online reported on Thursday that Boeing is planning massive cuts as part of a cost-reduction initiative. According to the report, the move was set in motion before battery problems caused the grounding of the company's flagship jetliner.

Boeing officials say the company regularly uses contract labor to supplement its workforce during surge activities and on development programs that require a production ramp up, which officials say is a standard practice in the aerospace industry.

A report from WSJ, said that the cuts, which would primarily target workers employed through outside contractors, are expected to be implemented over the course of 2013, could reduce staffing levels by up to 20 percent.

Boeing said in a statement Thursday night, the company expects to hire between 8,000 and 10,000 people in 2013 with "overall employment levels at year-end anticipated to be flat or slightly down."

Representatives for Boeing say the company expects to continue to reduce its reliance on contract labor.

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