JLG Not Affected By Oshkosh Defense Layoffs
Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:- OSK), parent company of JLG Industries, Inc., announced last week that its 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. After the layoffs, Oshkosh will employ approximately 2,800 defense employees in Oshkosh. However, a company spokesperson was quick to say that the layoffs will not affect JLG and will affect only employees in Wisconsin and not in Pennsylvania.
According to a press release issued last week, Oshkosh expects domestic military vehicle production volumes to decline significantly as the year progresses. The company’s 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.
The U.S. government implemented $85 billion in federal budget cuts known as the “sequester,” starting on March 1 this year.
“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 went on to say, “We have taken numerous actions to lessen the impact, including insourcing work customarily done externally, thus saving more than 165 production jobs.”
He said the company will be reaching out to the Wisconsin 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 high-quality trucks and trailers and provide support service and training for its military customers around the clock and around the world.
In recent years, defense contracts helped to put JLG’s local workforce back to work as employees were building M-ATV mine-resistant vehicles. When that production wound down and as the economy improved, the company went back to produc- ing access and aerial platform equipment.
JLG, Fulton County’s largest employer, employs more than 2,000 people between the manufacturing plant in McConnellsburg and auxiliary sites, as well as the office facility in Hagerstown.
Oshkosh Corp. had sales of $8.1 billion in fiscal 2012 and is ranked #337 on the Fortune Magazine’s list of the 500 largest, publicly traded companies in the U.S. Oshkosh manufactures in eight U.S. states and seven countries with sales in 130 countries.