February 23, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
Piper Aircraft will shut down operations for one week in May and another week in June, in addition to the previously announced closings of one week in April and one week in July. The shutdowns are without pay and affect all employees in the company.
“We realize and regret the impact that this has on our employees and are doing everything possible to preserve the 650 jobs Piper continues to provide,” Piper officials said in a statement. “Piper is focused on taking all necessary actions to weather the current downturn in such a way that we will be positioned for growth when the economy improves.”
The statement expressed concern that, industry wide, there are high inventories of new and used aircraft but a lack of available credit to buy them.
“Although no one can predict how long this recession will last or how deep it will go, we believe that Piper’s focus should be on preserving as many jobs as possible while continuing to dedicate ourselves to building aircraft of the finest quality and the most exacting safety standards of any within general aviation,” the statement said.
The action is in keeping with the reduction in production levels and the layoffs of thousands of employees in Wichita, Kan., and worldwide throughout the aviation industry.
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