The Boeing Co., said it will likely lay off 300 workers in St. Louis starting in early 2014.
According to a Boeing spokeswoman, the layoffs are part of Boeing’s decision, announced Wednesday, to end production of its C-17 military cargo planes.
The final C-17 will roll out of Boeing's factory in Long Beach, Calif., towards the end of 2015. Parts made at the defense facility in the City of Hazelwood will cease a few months before then.
About 3,000 employees work on the C-17 program company-wide. Layoffs will begin in 2014.
The aircraft’s forward nose and cargo door are built in Hazelwood but the implications of the production ending will affect jobs at 650 suppliers in 44 states, according to Boeing.
The company is completing production on 22 of the cargo planes. It ended a 32-year Federal program last week when it delivered the last C-17 for the U.S. Air Force.
"Ending C-17 production was a very difficult but necessary decision," Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said in a statement Wednesday. He also said the budgets of Boeing's foreign customers "cannot support additional purchases in the timing required to keep the production line open."
He also said sequestration was a deciding factor in the decision.
"What's more, here in the United States the sequestration situation has created significant planning difficulties for our customers and the entire aerospace industry," Muilenburg said. "Such uncertainty forces difficult decisions like this C-17 line closure."
Expect additional "tough but necessary decisions to drive affordability and preserve" Boeing's ability to invest for the future, Muilenburg said.
Boeing Defense, Space & Security, based in Hazelwood, is a $33 billion business with 15,110 St. Louis area employees.