While the defense budget is shrinking, the Oshkosh Corporation says their layoffs have nothing to do with the looming sequestration cuts that were part of the debt ceiling deal.
Spokesman John Daggett says the military is returning to peacetime spending levels. “We’re ending two years and unfortunately these economic factors really required Oshkosh to rebalance its defense production workforce,” he says.
The company is spreading out 450 jobs cuts over a three-week period starting in mid-January. Daggett says “these were difficult decisions,” and Oshkosh Corp. will help in workers transitioning out. After the layoffs, Daggett says the company will still have about 3,500 defense division workers there.
Meanwhile, the firm is working to boost its international sales and they recently signed a contract with the United Arab Emirates for 700 vehicles.
The mass layoff is the second major announcement in northeast Wisconsin this week. About 400 people will lose their jobs next year when the Kewaunee nuclear power plant closes.