Insitu’s leadership team is refusing to give out the number of laidoff employees from its restructuring initiative that began last week, citing proprietary concerns should the information become public.
“We will not be releasing that information and that won’t change,” Insitu spokewoman Jennifer Beloy said late last week.
Beloy said Insitu implemented the last layoffs at the close of business last Friday, June 7.
All other impacted employees left work immediately after being notified, she said.
Insitu’s leadership team issued a 60-day layoff notice to all 1,500 Insitu employees last Monday, June 3, advising all that the maker of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) was undergoing a restructuring that was going to result in permanent job losses.
Insitu is owned by The Boeing Co. It is Boeing’s UAV, or drone, division. Insitu employed about 1,000 people in the Columbia
Gorge and another 500 at its other operations before last week.
Media reports have suggested the reduction in force implemented by Insitu elminated around 15% of its workforce, or more than 200 positions. Beloy said these figures did not come from Insitu.
“I can’t comment on anything related to metrics,” Beloy said.
Because the number of affected employees is between 49 and 500 and less than 33% of the workforce, Insitu said it was not subject to the federal Working Adjustment and Retraining Notification
Act of 1988, which requires 60 days notice to all affected employees in the event of a closure or layoff.
Insitu CEO Esina Alic and her management team provided a 60-day notice on June 3 “because leadership is committed to providing sufficient notice and resources to help employees with this transition,” Beloy said last week.
This support includes “helping individuals identify opportunities within Boeing,” Beloys said.
In corporate statement that appeared in a June 4 story in The Seattle Times, Insitu’s leadership team intimated Insitu had to cut costs and restructure itself for increased competition in the drone business.
“Our market has become more challenging, and with that we’ve seen an increased need to reduce costs,” said a statement The Seattle Times attributed to Alic, but Beloy said last week it was a statement
Insitu’s leadership team issued in response to a reporter’s inquiry.
Another clarification that came from Beloy, but after The Enterprise’s June 3 press deadline, was that the shakeup is Insitu-driven, that Boeing played no role in the shakeup.
“This event was driven by Insitu leadership. This is not a Boeing decision nor is it the result of any events at Boeing,” Beloy clarified.
Janelle Guthrie, communications director for Employment Security, said, if Insitu did not trigger the WARN Act requirements, her department has no way of knowing how many people
Insitu laid off.
“[A]ny additional information about the layoff would have to come from the company,” Guthrie said, but added, “It is a best practice for a business to work with us in these situations as we can help their employees prepare for unemployment and also help them find new employment.”
Jaime Smith, executive director of Communications and External Affairs for Gov.
Jay Inslee, said the Governor’s Office is aware of the impending reductions but doesn’t have much detail beyond what’s already public.
She added, “Our Employment Security Department is ready to work with the company and assist any impacted workers.”