April 20, 2017 2:40 pm

48 salaried staff laid-off at General Dynamics Land Systems

A Canadian light armoured vehicle arrives to escort a convoy at a forward operating base near Panjwaii, Afghanistan in 2006.

THE CANADIAN PRESS
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A spokesperson for General Dynamics Land Systems in London has confirmed 48 salaried staff have been laid off.

Manager of corporate affairs, Doug Wilson-Hodge, adds that no unionized members have been impacted.

READ MORE: Federal court rejects bid to block Canada’s $15B Saudi Arabia arms deal

“It’s a really hard thing to do,” Wilson-Hodge told AM980.

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“We also want to emphasize that we certainly regret the impact that the action has on those affected employees and their families.”

The layoffs come more than two months after Ottawa announced it was investing $404 million to upgrade its light-armoured vehicle (LAV) fleet and nearly three months after the federal court dismissed a challenge to condemn Ottawa’s $15-billion sale of LAVs – built at GDLS – to Saudi Arabia.

READ MORE: Federal government invests $404-million for LAV III upgrades at General Dynamics

Wilson-Hodge says the $404 million from Ottawa was to sustain 250 existing high-skills jobs which are not impacted by the layoffs.

“[Through the] normal course of our business we have to evaluate our resources and make sure, in our hyper-competitive international marketplace, that we remain competitive,” said Wilson-Hodge.

“It’s based on skills, so we have to make adjustments to our resources and how we are responding to the marketplace to remain competitive, and that’s why that was done.”

The staff affected have received “fair and appropriate” severance packages as well as transition benefits.

“So things to help them with resumes, finding additional employment, and they’ve also got access to employment and family assistance programs which will help them with stress and financial counselling.”

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