Unlike Boeing, which offered all of its 160,000 employees "voluntary buyouts" just so it can still keep its bailout option alive which would certainly be snuffed if the company were to announce mass layoffs, General Electric has no such qualms and moments ago the company told CNBC that it is planning to furlough half of its aviation unit’s engine-manufacturing staff as the coronavirus roils the industry.
“Due to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on the commercial aviation industry, GE Aviation is implementing a temporary reduction in commercial engine assembly and some component manufacturing operations for up to four weeks,” a GE spokesperson said. “We appreciate the commitment of all our employees during this difficult time, and we regret having to take this action. We will continue to deliver for our customers and preserve our capability to respond when the industry recovers.”
The move will involve thousands of jobs in the key unit - which has seen a total collapse in demand as a result of the shuttering of virtually all flight - and last for four weeks.
The additional reductions come less than a month after the company said it would cut 10% of its aviation unit, affecting roughly 2,600 workers. But as the coronavirus’ devastating toll on travel demand has increased, airlines are parking hundreds of planes while deferring orders of new aircraft.