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Oshkosh Defense announces hundreds of layoffs


OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - Officials with Oshkosh Defense are announcing about 760 workers will be laid off beginning this summer.

The company says that, starting in June, about 700 hourly employees will be cut. Then in July, approximately 60 salaried positions will be eliminated.

During a news conference Thursday, the company says most of the layoffs involve temporary workers and retiring employees.

The head of the Oshkosh defense division, John Urias, said the firm went to "great lengths" to delay the impact of lower defense spending on the Oshkosh workforce. He said the firm carried out alternatives like not filling vacancies and using outside contractors -- and it has tried pursuing relevant international opportunities for making vehicles.

But now, Urias says Oshkosh must reshape its workforce and return to peace time operations. 

FOX 11 reports that UAW Local 578 President Joe Preisler was informed of the layoffs earlier in the day.

With these latest job cuts, Oshkosh Defense will employ about 1,850 workers.

(Additional reporting from FOX 11 and Wheeler News Service).