Boeing told non-union company employees in a virtual meeting with all stakeholders this month that it would start outsourcing finance and accounting jobs to Tata Consultancy Services of India.
Boeing said Tuesday it will cut about 150 jobs nationwide as part of the initial layoffs, with more to come over the next year and beyond. The first layoffs go out in October.
“The finance team is planning a reduced headcount as it simplifies processes, improves efficiencies and shares selected work with an external partner,” Boeing said in a statement, adding that it will “assess future impacts as the process progresses in the coming ones.” years will continue. ”
“It was a shock the way they put it in,” said a Boeing senior finance official, who asked not to be identified in order to keep his job. “They had the all-hands company meeting and four days later everyone was moved to new organizations with new managers.”
According to the company, before the pandemic, Boeing’s finance group consisted of about 6,000 employees company-wide. At least 1,000 are in the Puget Sound area, the finance clerk said.
The announcement left many people wondering if their jobs will be among the cuts but not sure for sure.
“We’re trying to strike a balance by being as transparent as possible without prejudging the work we still have to do,” a Boeing spokesman said. “We have been upfront with employees that we anticipate a reduction in headcount in finance. As soon as we know the details we will share them.”
This week, Tata managers began consulting directly with Boeing’s finance and accounting managers to determine the exact work order the Indian company will undertake. Once that is determined, Boeing will notify those to be fired, including some executives.
Prior to their departure, these employees are asked to train Tata personnel on Boeing procedures to facilitate the handover of work.
Transformation = reduction
The planned layoffs are part of a broad and concerted effort by Boeing in recent years to shed non-union positions at companies.
“Several of our corporate functions, including information technology and finance, made changes to streamline their operations, resulting in reduced headcounts in those areas,” Boeing said Tuesday.
This push began with moves to eliminate IT work that could be done cheaper elsewhere and was not seen as central to Boeing’s business.
In 2013, Boeing began shedding 1,500 IT jobs in the Puget Sound region. Last year it outsourced another batch of IT work to Dell, eliminating 600 jobs across the company.
A few years ago, Boeing outsourced a range of low-level finance work to Genpact, a multinational company founded in India and with a strong presence in that country.
According to Boeing’s chief financial officer, Tata will handle some of the Genpact work, although Genpact will continue to do some other work for Boeing.
Boeing’s new chief financial officer, Brian West, who joined the company in August last year, has increased its focus on cutting finance and accounting jobs.
In November, he appointed Amy Rodrigues to lead the finance and accounting team, with a telling extension of her title: vice president of finance and financial transformation.
Boeing Corporate refers to the transformation as rationalization. For the employees affected, it is simply downsizing.
The downsizing comes as Boeing hires mechanics to build aircraft and engineers to design them in a tight labor market after a severe round of frontline job cuts during the global pandemic.
Boeing cut just over 20,000 jobs company-wide in 2020 — 15,000 of them in Washington state — as the pandemic hit the airliner business hard.
Another 1,000 jobs were lost in Washington state last year.
That year, as demand for air travel returned and Boeing began ramping up production of the 737 MAX in Renton and devoting engineering resources to fixing problems with the 787 and various defense projects, the company finally began hiring and downsizing of jobs, mainly in engineering and manufacturing.
Boeing took the sting out of the relatively small number of employee layoffs coming in finance, saying on Tuesday it had “significantly increased hiring of engineering and manufacturing employees as market demand increases and we see production stability.” move forward and invest in engineering and innovation”.
“Overall, we added approximately 10,000 employees to the Boeing workforce this year,” Boeing said.
That still leaves Boeing with about 10,000 jobs relative to the workforce it had before the pandemic.
Boeing in India
Boeing now has about 3,500 direct employees in India.
The Boeing India Engineering & Technology Center in Bengaluru and Chennai carries out complex advanced aerospace engineering. Boeing has invested more than $200 million in the Bengalaru campus, its largest investment outside of the United States.
The company plans to build an avionics fabrication and assembly facility there, replacing an in-house capacity Boeing abandoned in 2003 and has been trying to rebuild since 2017.
Given the shortage of engineers in the United States and the closure of its major engineering center in Moscow since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Boeing sees India as a key supplier of engineering talent.
Another 7,000 people in India are employed by Boeing’s suppliers, including the multinational conglomerate Tata Group, headquartered in Mumbai.
Boeing this year named Tata Aerospace & Defense, India’s largest privately owned aerospace manufacturer, “Supplier of the Year 2022”.
This division of Tata manufactures aircraft landing gear doors, vertical stabilizers, floor beams, under and over wing panels, fuselages, secondary structures and tailplane cones. A joint venture with Tata Group also produces AH-64 Apache helicopter fuselages in Hyderabad for military customers around the world.
Tata Consultancy Services, the Tata Group subsidiary that takes over Boeing’s finance jobs, is a large IT and financial services consultancy with approximately 600,000 employees worldwide. Its market cap is $140 billion, 60% larger than Boeing’s.
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