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Fear Layoffs as Result of Weapon Cancellation With AM-Sgt York, Bjt

August 28, 1985

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) _ Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger’s decision Tuesday to halt production of the Sgt. York anti-aircraft gun may mean layoffs at the Ford Aerospace plant here that produces the weapon, company officials said.

However, no firm plans have been made on layoffs or when the production line would be shut down, said Don Flamm, a spokesman for Ford Aerospace & Communications Corp.

Susan Pearce, a spokeswoman for the Ford Motor Co. subsidiary, said she didn’t know if layoffs would result, since some workers might be able to transfer to other projects within the company.

About 1,900 of Ford Aerospace & Communication Corp.’s 15,000 employees were working on the Sgt. York project.

Weinberger said the gun, in which the Army has sunk $1.8 billion, didn’t perform much better than the weapons the service has now.

″We don’t know yet what the effect will be,″ said Pearce, speaking from Washington, D.C.

″We will make every attempt to place people within the company,″ said Flamm. ″We are also setting up a job placement center. We feel there are possibilities for our people in other places in the industry.″

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