Oshkosh Corp. to eliminate 760 positions as defense spending decreases

Special to The Freeman

April 10, 2014

OSHKOSH – Oshkosh Corporation announced Thursday it will be eliminating 760 jobs in its Defense segment starting in July with the majority being temporary employees and those retiring. Once the layoffs are complete, Oshkosh Defense will employ about 1,850 people in Oshkosh, according to the announcement.
Of those 760 positions, 700 are hourly and 60 are salaried.

“We need to reshape our workforce with U.S. defense spending down as a result of tight government budgets and a return to peacetime operations,” said John Urias, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president of Oshkosh Defense, in a statement. “We have gone to great lengths to minimize and delay the impact of the reduced spending on our Defense workforce. We explored and implemented a range of alternatives from not filling open positions to bringing in outside contracted work as promised in earlier discussions with the UAW, which represents our production employees, as well as continuing to pursue relevant international opportunities.”

As part of the process, Oshkosh Corporation will reach out county and state workforce development agencies and local employers to help those affected by the layoffs with the transition, according to the company. Oshkosh Corp. also plans to hold job fairs with local and state-wide employers.

“We stand very committed to our customer, as well as our employees, and will be diligent in our actions to be aligned with the current defense business environment. We will continue to employ a strong workforce ready to fulfill all contractual requirements and new potential opportunities, such as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program,” Urias said.

In the future, Oshkosh Defense will continue to leverage its broad product offerings and design with engineering expertise in order to pursue opportunities in the United States and abroad.

Oshkosh Defense builds high-quality trucks, trailers and components and provides aftermarket service and training for its military customers around the clock and around the world.

Oshkosh Corporation had sales of nearly $7.7 billion in fiscal 2013 and is ranked in the top 400 on Fortune Magazine’s list of the 500 largest U.S. publicly traded companies. Oshkosh manufactures in eight U.S. states and seven countries with sales in 130 countries.