Tuesday September 25, 2012

WILLISTON, Vt. (AP) -- Defense contractor General Dynamics is laying off about 50 employees in Vermont and 30 in Maine, after nearly completing work on special armor for military vehicles and a decline in demand for its guns, company officials said Tuesday.

The cuts will be to both hourly and salaried employees in administrative, engineering, management and manufacturing support, at the company's Williston and Saco, Maine, facilities, company communications director Karl Johnson said.

"The company has fulfilled the U.S. Army's current requirements for reactive armor for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. We will soon complete that program for the Stryker Wheeled Combat Vehicle fleet. And then we're also experiencing some reduced demand in some of our gun programs," said Johnson, who's based at the company headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., where two employees also are being laid off.

General Dynamics produces gun systems for fighter aircraft, ground vehicles and naval vessels as well as crew-served weapons, which must be operated by more than one person.

General Dynamic employs 350 in Vermont, at the Williston Technology Center for General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, in Jericho and two sites in Burlington. In Maine, the company has 375 workers at Saco Operations.

A majority of the affected employees were notified on Monday and will receive severance packages, Johnson said.


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The phased layoffs will be complete by Jan. 4. He would not say if more layoffs are expected.