- Boeing has seemingly ended its staff reductions to the point of hiring back 500-800 retirees, the Seattle Times reported last week.
- In addition to retirees, the International Association of Machinists union (IAM) specified that laid off workers in the currently understaffed areas must be rehired in advance of retirees returning to the same jobs.
- Retired machinists, as well as engineers, are legally able to return to the job for a maximum of six months, during which time they will receive salaries in addition to pension payments. Bonuses of $500 for each month they return are also offered.
U.S. manufacturing is growing, with an accompanying investment in technology such as 3D printers, IoT and robotics. However, one aspect of that growth is proving problematic: finding suitably trained workers. In fact, that need could grow even greater with the push toward smart factories.
Boeing is calling back retirees mostly for training purposes, as an influx of younger, less experienced staff enters the aviation engineering workforce. Chances are those new employees are millennials who, contrary to common perception, are hard working and appreciative of opportunities within the supply chain.
Further, the Boeing plants in question are located in a region rife with young residents, so it makes sense that the available talent pool is 35 or younger. Utilizing older staff to train a new generation is a classic employment pattern; rather than go on an endless search for experienced engineers, Boeing is managing in-house to cut costs and hopefully keep its supply chain moving along without any serious disruptions.