Boeing notified about 150 nonunion employees in its supply chain organization Monday that their jobs are moving from Washington state and California to Texas.
In a message to all employees at the Texas-headquartered Boeing Global Services (BGS) division, vice president of supply chain William Ampofo justified the move as part of the company's ongoing business transformation "to simplify our organization, streamline our processes."
"We're focused on relocating work to Dallas, Texas. This includes BGS supply chain jobs across the organization that support both our commercial and our government business," Ampofo told employees in an accompanying video. "The current plan is to complete most of these moves to Dallas by the end of 2021."
The affected jobs are in the company's global parts distribution unit and will be relocated to buildings near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Signaling further supply chain job moves to follow, Ampofo's message added that "we anticipate there will be additional decisions regarding workforce transformation efforts as we continue to examine all aspects of our work."
At staff meetings after Ampofo's announcement, employees had the chance to discuss the implications with their managers.
One person whose spouse attended such a meeting said that "faced with a move to the Dallas suburbs, the bet is most will not take them up on the offer" and speculated that Boeing will then hire more junior replacements in Texas at lower pay.
This person, who asked for anonymity to protect the spouse's job, said more layoffs and relocations are expected in 2022.
Boeing spokesperson Rafael Gonzalez said Tuesday that those who wish to stay in Washington or California will have the option to apply for another supply chain job where they are.
"We do have a number of positions open within the supply chain in Washington state," Gonzalez said. "There are significant opportunities for them to stay."
Some at the meetings also voiced political concerns about being asked to move to Texas.
"Questions from employees regarding the repressive stance Texas has taken on women's rights and voting rights were ignored and not addressed during the Q&A," said another employee who attended one of the staff meetings and who also asked for anonymity to protect his job.
Gonzalez declined to comment on that.
Ampofo in his video message thanked the employees for their "tremendous work" at this "really difficult and challenging" time.
In contrast, Boeing has begun hiring again at the Commercial Airplanes division in Washington state as 737 MAX production ramps up.
"We've seen an uptick in new hire orientations," said Bill Dugovich, spokesperson for the white-collar union the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace.