As wars wind down, Oshkosh Corp. will cut 900 jobs

Oshkosh Corp. announced that its Oshkosh Defense division plans to reduce its workforce in Oshkosh by approximately 700 hourly positions starting in mid-June 2013 and by approximately 200 salaried positions through July.

The layoff announcement comes as the U.S. combat mission in Iraq is finished and the war in Afghanistan is winding down.

After the layoffs, Oshkosh will employ approximately 2,800 Defense employees in Oshkosh.

Oshkosh Corp. expects domestic military vehicle production volumes to decline significantly as the year progresses. The company said its lower expected vehicle production is due mainly to the reduction in U.S. Defense budgets and a return to peacetime spending levels as the U.S. winds down war activities. Daily production volumes are expected to decline by approximately 30 percent this summer.

“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.”

Urias added, “We have taken numerous actions to lessen the impact, including insourcing work customarily done externally, thus saving more than 165 production jobs.”

The company will be reaching out to the county and state workforce development agencies, as well as local employers to help those affected by the layoffs make the transition to other employment if they so desire.

The company will continue to build trucks and trailers, and provide support service and training for its military customers around the clock and around the world.

Oshkosh Defense is a leading provider of tactical wheeled vehicles and life cycle sustainment services.

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