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Questions Likely to Fly at Boeing Plants

When Boeing Chairman Phil Condit visits the company’s Long Beach plants Thursday, he may be greeted by employees asking, “Buddy, can you spare a job?”

Condit’s stop will be his first trip to the facilities since announcing a major reorganization that will cut about 6,000 jobs from Boeing plants in Southern California. He’ll also be meeting with analysts this week.

“It’s a daylong visit here to review the status of our programs and circulate among the people,” said Don Hanson, a Boeing spokesman in Long Beach. He said Condit will probably tour the plants, as he has on some other visits.

One of the key programs in Long Beach is the new 717 jet (formerly called the MD-95). Last week, news surfaced that the roll-out and flight test schedule for the plane could be delayed by engine-blade problems.

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Two other Long Beach programs are being phased out, and the future of the MD-11 tri-jet is in doubt.

Under Boeing’s new reorganization, most of the cutbacks will hit the commercial business in Long Beach, home of the former Douglas Aircraft Co., which will lose a third of its current jobs.

The company will also close its Monrovia plant, where 1,000 employees work. Boeing said it expects most of the payroll reductions to take place over 18 months, mostly through retirements and attrition.


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