Oshkosh announce winter lay off in its defense business

Oshkosh Corp. announced today it will lay off 250-300 hourly workers and about 70 salaried employees in December 2014 as part of its continued scaling back as a result of decreased military truck orders.

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Oshkosh has recently won new orders for FMTV medium trucks for the U.S. Army and Army National Guard worth over $1.2 billion. Photo: Oshkosh
The Light All terrain Vehicle (L-ATV) proposed by Oshkosh Defense was one of three designs to win the latest EMD phase. Photo: Oshkosh Defense.
The Light All terrain Vehicle (L-ATV) proposed by Oshkosh Defense was one of three designs to win the JLTV EMD phase. Photo: Oshkosh Defense.

Oshkosh Corp. announced today it will lay off 250-300 hourly workers and about 70 salaried employees in December 2014 as part of its continued scaling back as a result of decreased military truck orders. The majority of the salaried-employee layoffs will be accomplished by cutting temporary workers, eliminating open positions and through retirement, the company said in a press release.

“This is the impact of spending being down and the draw-down of troops,”Oshkosh Corp. spokesman John Daggett said. “It’s kind of had a ripple effect. We’re still the number one global manufacturer of tactical wheeled vehicles for the military, but the reduction of force has an impact on the number of vehicles needed.”

The winter layoff will drop the company’s defense segment workforce to about half of its’ peak of 3,100 employees during Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) production in the early 2010s. According to Daggett, the company will employ about 1,725 defense segment employees once the winter layoff is complete.

In June this year Oshkosh began lay off of 700 hourly positions and 60 salaried jobs in its defense segment. These lay offs were also said to be in the temporary employees and people who are retiring.

With the draw down in Afghanistan and budget cuts throughout the military, orders for the company’s FMTV trucks have dropped. By joining the services’ funded engineering and manufacturing development with its privately funded Light All Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV) Oshkosh has improved its chances to win the next major Army and Marine Corps acquisition of the HMMWV successor – the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). Oshkosh has recently announced it has completed the JLTV program production readiness review.

The review included a review of Oshkosh’s manufacturing readiness, quality management system and production planning capabilities to meet scheduling, performance and cost requirements for production of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.

Oshkosh is one of three remaining competitors for the JLTV contract, which is expected to be awarded in 2015. A total of about 49,000 vehicles are expected to be ordered, with the vast majority destined for the Army and the remainder for the Marine Corps.