Over 2,160 workers of The Boeing Co. in Wichita will be laid off as the airplane and defense company closes its facility in the Kansas city in light of U.S. defense budget cuts.
On Wednesday Boeing (NYSE: BA) announced that layoffs would begin during the second half of the year and continue over the course of two years, according to the Wichita Eagle.
Boeing had recently been awarded a big $35 billion contract from the U.S. Air Force to build refueling tankers. Kansas politicians were furious because Boeing had said the tankers would be built in Kansas and add 7,500 jobs, but now said they'd move those operations to Washington.
Representative Mike Pompeo told Reuters Boeing had the right to operate in the best interests of its stakeholders, but the company was breaking years and years of promises to the state.
Air craft maintenance and engineering has taken place in Boeing's Wichita plant since the 1920s. Howard Rubel, an analyst with Jeffries & Co. in New York, told Bloomberg News that the plant's closure will be a historic moment, but reflects the economic reality of a changing and shrinking defense budget.
Workers were really saddened by the news.
If I have to in order to keep my job, I'll move. I love the Boeing company, Sherri Kaufman-Marsh told NBC affiliate KSN. But did I think Boeing would leave Wichita? No. Really not. Not here in Wichita. Boeing is the legacy of aerospace here in Wichita. It's a really sad day.