The efforts of both local workers to contact Congress about layoffs and a local union to reduce the effects has resulted in fewer layoffs at Army Fleet Support than initially expected, according to a letter posted on the Local Lodge 2003 International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers’ website.
A letter from the Grievance Negotiating Committee said less than 100 layoff notices were expected to be distributed at AFS on Friday. The layoffs are expected to be effective the week before the Christmas break.
The committee said it would not release the specific numbers of each classification, location or shift reduction affected until the first round of layoff notices was issued.
The letter, which is signed by committee member Steve Crumb, said the preliminary numbers of layoffs announced last month was 460 employees. Crumb said that number was reduced to 250 and then to below 100 employees.
Crumb thanked everyone who had sent a letter to Congress “expressing their concerns about the layoffs at Fort Rucker.”
Frank Larkin, national spokesman for IAMAW, said the layoffs are a continuing result nationally of sequestration and the government shutdown on contractors.
But Larkin said some of the effects could be reversed if residents continued to urge their local and state delegations to consider the damage that across-the-board defense cuts have made and could continue to make.
AFS’ recent layoff discussions mark at least the third time this year for AFS. The company said in early August that it would lay off about 70 workers that month to align staffing with flight hours.
In April, the company confirmed it would terminate about 50 workers that month in order to address a review of the projected requirement of the $1.98 billion Army contract AFS was awarded last year.
Recent reports have placed AFS’ employment at between 3,000 and 3,500 employees. The most recent employment number reported to the Dothan Eagle was in 2010 at 4,122 workers, which AFS said included 1,828 aircraft mechanics and structural mechanics and another 531 contract avionic technicians.
According to previous reports, AFS first came to Fort Rucker in 2003 when it was among four aviation services awarded a 10-year, $2.7 billion contract to take over the responsibilities of DynCorp, which served the post for 15 years.
AFS spokeswoman Lisa Gee said the company had no comment in relation to the recent layoffs.