Oshkosh Defense cutting workforce

April 10, 2013 at 10:17 AM
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OSHKOSH, Wis., April 10 (UPI) -- U.S. military vehicle-maker Oshkosh Defense is laying off about 900 workers amid expectations of declining orders.

Oshkosh Corp. said 700 of those to be let go by its Defense division, which makes armored vehicles, are hourly employees.

The reduction of hourly workers begins in mid-June, while the 200 salaried employees will be let go through July.

"These were difficult, but necessary decisions," said John Urias, Oshkosh Corp. executive vice president and president of Defense. "When other business segments of Oshkosh and many companies in the U.S. were enduring layoffs, pay cuts and furloughs during the Great Recession, Oshkosh Defense was hiring employees and retaining jobs which ended up helping many people manage through that difficult period. However, circumstances have now changed.

"We have taken numerous actions to lessen the impact, including in-sourcing work customarily done externally, thus saving more than 165 production jobs."

The workforce reduction will bring the number of employees at its facility in Oshkosh, Wis. to about 2,800.

Oshkosh pointed to a reduction in defense spending and the winding down of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan as the reasons for the expected production downturn.

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