L3 Technologies

L3 Technologies has had four rounds of staff reductions in four years for its operation at the TSTC airport in Waco.

TSTC photo, file

L3 Technologies has laid off 124 staffers at its Waco facility, the company’s fourth round of staff reductions there in four years as it continues to streamline its Aerospace Systems unit that experienced a decline in revenue during the first half of 2017.

The layoffs announced Friday follow L3’s buyout offers last month for several categories of employees at facilities in Waco; Greenville, Texas; and in Florida. Spokesman Lance Martin declined to say how many employees signed up for “voluntary separation,” limiting comment to a press release.

The staff reductions “were not focused on any single department, but span numerous positions across our business, where job duplications resulted from recent consolidation of functions and business areas,” according to the press release. Martin would not elaborate.

L3, based in New York, modifies and maintains military aircraft in Waco, where it also installs luxury interiors on planes used by foreign heads of state and private dignitaries. Employment there has fallen from a high of almost 2,000 to about 1,400 before the cuts announced Friday.

L3 announced last September it was laying off 120 employees because it had been slow to get new contracts. The move marked the third sizable personnel reduction in as many years, with about 200 staffers receiving pink slips in 2014 because of belt tightening by the U.S. Department of Defense and another 114 losing their jobs in 2015 as military contracts began to slow, Martin said at the time.

Aerospace Systems, which includes the Platform Integration operation in Waco, was L3’s only business unit that experienced a decline in net sales during the first half of 2017 compared to the first six months of 2016, according to earnings reports.

The unit showed a slight increase in net sales during the first quarter but plummeted $122 million during the second quarter, creating a net loss of $82 million for the first six months compared to last year.

Decreases were due, in part, to reduced demand for “aircraft cabin assemblies” and fewer contracts for modifications to aircraft used by foreign heads of state, which is a specialty of the Waco facility, according to a summary in L3’s quarterly financial report.

In contrast, L3’s Communication Systems, Sensor Systems and Electronic Systems business units saw mid-year net sales increases of $120 million, $96 million and $106 million, respectively.

Martin said he could not comment on the impact earnings report results had, if any, on the decision to cut the labor force in Aerospace Systems.

Shifts in employment levels are nothing new to the facility in Waco. When L3 acquired it from Raytheon in 2002, the number of staffers had declined from 1,900 to 1,500, and layoffs became an everyday occurrence after announcement of the sale but before the transaction had received regulatory approval.

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