Fort Drum Contractor To Lay Off More Than 40 Civilian Workers

Fort Drum Contractor To Lay Off More Than 40 Civilian Workers

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A company which makes aviation systems for military aircraft is cutting back on its civilian workforce at Fort Drum.

L3 Technologies announced it will permanently lay off approximately 44 employees beginning Friday and continuing through the end of August.

The layoffs affect Local 2920 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union.

Union representative Brian Gagnon told 7 News that three people are expected to be laid off Friday and other workers are being sent to Mississippi to complete other L3 jobs.

Gagnon said about 20 union employees are expected to lose their jobs March 24.

The layoffs will gradually happen as the current repairs are finished, he said.

"Our last aircraft is scheduled to be put out in August, so at that point, most of our maintenance technicians will be let go other than the 28 that will be maintained for the aviation brigade," said Gagnon.

He said the layoffs are due to military cutbacks.

On Fort Drum, L3 Technologies mainly repairs and installs systems for UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, along with Chinooks and Apaches. 

L3 is part of a program that splits its orders among bases on the East Coast, but fewer aircraft are being sent up to Fort Drum.

"There's still a lot of aircraft out there to be done. Why the shift started, we don't know. That's out of our hands," said Gagnon.

Cheryl Mayforth of the WorkPlace says the job center has helped out laid-off, contracted civilians in the past.

"This isn't the first time this has happened. One of the things is we invite people to come in and meet with our folks here," she said.

L3 has one more year left on its contract at Drum and Gagnon says he hopes L3 or another company like it will stay here.

"It's a specialty, this aviation maintenance. It's not something that is just everywhere to be had in a local area," said Gagnon.

According to a notice sent to the union, L3 said the following positions may be affected:

Administrative Assistants
Aircraft Quality Inspectors (All)
Aircraft Machinists
Aircraft Mechanics (All Skill Sets)
Aircraft Life Support Technicians
Aircraft Painter
EHS & ECO Hazmat Inspectors
Material Coordinators
ND! Technicians
Maintenance Test Pilots
Material Coordinators
Production Control Clerks
Quality Auditors
Quality Supervisor
Stock Clerks
Supply Technicians
Tool and Parts Attendant
Warehouse Specialists
Welders (Aero & Non-Aero)

According to the company's website, L3 Technologies employs approximately 38,000 people worldwide and is a leading provider of a broad range of communication and electronic systems and products used on military, homeland security and commercial platforms. L3 is also a prime contractor in aerospace systems, security and detection systems, and pilot training. 

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