by Richard Tomkins
Oshkosh, Wis. (UPI) Oct 10, 2014
Hundreds of workers at Oshkosh Defense are to lose their jobs in December as a result of lower U.S. defense spending, the company announced.
The workforce reduction will affect between 250-300 hourly-wage workers and 70 salaried positions.
"We continue to reshape our workforce as a result of significantly lower U.S. defense spending and dramatic reductions in military vehicle production," said John Urias, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president of Oshkosh Defense.
"We have gone to great lengths to minimize and delay the impact of these changes on our Defense workforce. At the same time we are aggressively competing for future contracts including JLTV, MSVS and other international opportunities, which will serve as a catalyst for growth of the Defense business."
Oshkosh said the reductions will mostly involve elimination of temporary employees, plus elimination of open positions. Those retiring will not be replaced.
County and Wisconsin State workforce development agencies and local employers will be tapped to help those affected in the layoff. The company also plans a job fair for affected employees to meet prospective future employers.
"Amid the defense spending downturn, we remain committed to our role in supporting our customers' military ground operations around the world," Urias said. "We will retain a strong, experienced workforce to serve all existing and new contracts as they are awarded."
Oshkosh said it will have a workforce of about 1,800 personnel in Wisconsin and key regional facilities following the trim.
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