General Dynamics laying off 110 workers in Saco

7:43 PM, Apr 11, 2013   |    comments
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SACO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- General Dynamics has announced it is laying off 110 workers later this year at its facility in Saco.

Karl Johnson, a spokesperson for General Dynamics' Armament and Technical Products division, said the company has notified the employees about the layoffs which are set to go into effect between June 14 and July 1.

Johnson said the primary reason for the layoffs is the sharp decline in U.S. Army demand for heavy machine guns and automatic grenade launchers as the military withdraws troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.

The layoffs include both salaried and hourly positions, and they are all involved with the production of the heavy machine guns and automatic grenade launchers.

Saco Mayor Mark Johnston said company management contacted him Thursday morning about the layoffs, and he said the news is difficult to take for a community that has been hit hard with job losses over the last year.

"The immediate impact to these communities is going to be significant," Johnston said.  "You won't have the money to shop in local shops, you won't be going to the supermarket as much, and you won't be going to the theatre.  The impact is unbelievable." 

370 workers lost their jobs when Hostess Brands Bakery closed its doors last fall, and seventy employees were out of work when Maine Energy Recovery Company, or MERC, closed at the end of last year.  

Mayor Johnston said state officials will be assisting the 110 workers who will be without a job later this year.

General Dynamics representatives said Thursday the company has also offered voluntary separation packages to 15 employees who are eligible.

The layoffs represent nearly a third of the entire workforce at the Saco facility, which Johnson said after the workforce reduction, there will be 215 employees remaining.  


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