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Bell Helicopter cuts 500 jobs, mostly in Fort Worth

Bell Helicopter cuts 500 jobs, mostly in Fort Worth

Faced with the loss of a big defense contract and an impatient corporate parent with a sagging stock price, Bell Helicopter announced Wednesday that it was cutting 500 jobs, mostly from its Fort Worth operations.

The job cuts, which began Tuesday, follow in the wake of the Pentagon´s Oct. 16 decision to cancel the Army´s $ 5 billion-plus contract with Bell to develop the ARH-70A Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter.

All but about 30 of the layoffs will come from personnel at Bell´s Fort Worth-area facilities, with the rest from the ranks of its Amarillo work force.

Bell spokesman Joseph LaMarca Jr. said senior Bell executives had been evaluating the company´s personnel requirements since the ARH cancellation and concluded that more cuts were needed beyond the 280 people directly assigned to the program.

"It allows us to shape our organization in such a way as to make it a more competitive, very streamlined, lean organization," LaMarca said.

The layoffs and terminations were being made at all levels, including 40 out of about 200 upper-management positions, which LaMarca described as vice presidents and directors. Significant numbers of engineers, marketing and other white-collar personnel were included in the cuts, but LaMarca said only about 20 manufacturing workers.

The full story read at Trading Markets

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