HAZELWOOD, Mo. – GKN Aerospace announced in February it will shut down its factory in Hazelwood by the end of 2023. Some area lawmakers are trying to save those jobs.
1,000 jobs are at stake, and GKN Aerospace said those layoffs are starting soon. When leaders announced the closure, they said the company would start reducing positions in mid-2022 and would be completely closed by the end of 2023. Congresswoman Cori Bush from St. Louis and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver from Kansas City have asked GKN leaders what they can do to prevent the plant’s closure.
GKN is the third-largest manufacturing employer in the area. The company builds parts for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and other aerospace manufacturers.
A spokesperson for GKN said in February that the facility has consistently struggled with profitability in recent years. He added that a thorough assessment of the site including declining orders, capabilities, and cost base concluded that it does not have a long-term sustainable future within the business.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers responded to the letter from representatives Bush and Cleaver saying it will “work to educate elected officials on Capitol Hill on the importance of keeping the facility open and maintaining this highly skilled workforce.”
The union said its members currently produce aircraft parts for a wide variety of U.S. Department of Defense platforms, and many of the members are U.S. military veterans.