An aggressive push by Airbus Industrie to win more orders for commercial jetliners has helped make as many as 7,000 former Boeing Co. workers eligible for federal assistance.
The U.S. Department of Labor has determined that the workers are eligible for the special trade adjustment assistance because their jobs were lost to foreign competition from Airbus, the European airplane-manufacturing consortium.
The department said its investigation determined that major customers bought planes from Airbus, resulting in a loss in sales and job cuts at Boeing.
The aid is extended to workers under the Omnibus Trade and Competitive Act. It includes financial assistance for retraining, relocation and extended unemployment benefits, said Rob Mills, trade adjustment benefits coordinator for the state Employment Security Department.
Between 4,000 and 7,000 employees laid off by Boeing Commercial Airplane Group since April 20, 1994 - plus all those the group will lay off in the next two years - are potentially eligible for the benefits.