Six Thousand Furloughed For Summer
somehow much quieter in Wichita (KS) these days - especially around
the Cessna plant. The sound of machinery used to build aircraft is
absent. The sound of workers calling to one another on the way to
or from work isn't there any more. The sound of cash registers
ringing up sales in Wichita is just a bit quieter than it was last
Cessna has furloughed more than 6000 workers for up to seven
weeks, hoping to curb production in the wake of order cancellations
from one of its biggest customers.
Cessna: Sales To Remain Weak Through End Of Year
It's part and parcel of the post-9/11 slump that has infected
general aviation as a whole. Cessna last March announced it would
permanently lay-off 1200 workers in addition to sending 6000 on
unpaid leave. The 1200 cuts was reduced to 900. Those workers' last
day was Friday. In all, Cessna has cut 12,000 jobs since the terror
attacks of 2001.
Cessna spokeswoman Jessica Myers told the Wichita
Eagle, there is light at the end of the tunnel - that sales
are beginning to stabilize. But that was, by no means, a prediction
of brighter days ahead, she told the newspaper. "There's no way to
tell what the future of the market will be," she said.
What To Do In Wichita When You're Laid Off
Gary Evans, a tool prep operator, told the Eagle he's
going to use the seven weeks off to clean up his house, paint the
living room and visit relatives. "I'm just glad to have a job" to
come back to. I made it through three layoffs."
Max Arndt, a tool and dye maker, only has three weeks' furlough
to contend with. He plans to do some major renovations on his home.
"I wish they'd give me the seven weeks," Arndt said.
Caravan Production Halted
Cessna and its parent company, Textron, has decided to
completely stop production of its huge single-engine Caravan and
several Citation lines. The CJ-3 and Mustang projects will be
unaffected, according to Cessna.
In all, the company will save approximately $24 million with the
summer furloughs and layoffs, a number that experts at Wichita
State University say will have a huge impact on the local economy.
Cessna was the last of Wichita's airplane manufacturers to
institute lay-offs after the 9/11 attacks.