May Day! May Day!

U.S. aircraftmakers join the list of corporate giants eliminating jobs

EVEN AS SEARS SLASHED ITS PAYROLL, THE RELENTless pace of layoffs and cutbacks sent America's commercial aviation companies into a tailspin. Faced with plunging airline orders, industry leader Boeing announced that it would cut production of its entire line of aircraft models, which analysts said could eliminate as many as 30,000 of the company's 130,000 jobs. At the same time, struggling McDonnell Douglas said it would slash 8,700 positions from the firm's commercial aircraft division, or 10% of the work force. And Pratt & Whitney, the jet-engine subsidiary of United Technologies, plans to pare 7,000 of its 30,000 jobs.

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