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Loral Division Layoffs Labeled 'Short-Term' : Official Says Discharges Won't Affect Other Units

June 26, 1986|GREG JOHNSON | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — The sales slump that this week will force Loral Instrumentation to lay off about 50 of its 300 San Diego employees is not expected to affect nearly 800 workers at three other Loral divisions here, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

The layoffs at the Kearny Mesa-based manufacturer of avionics and telemetry test equipment are expected to be "short-term in nature," according to Arthur O'Connor, a vice president of communications with Loral Corp., Loral Instrumentation's New York-based parent company.

O'Connor blamed the slump on "product mix and timing in a small segment of (Loral's) market. . . . We see it as temporary because the demand is there, and we can see (future) demand projected in orders. Although orders sometime slip, we don't see (the business) going away."

The slump, which earlier this year forced a smaller round of layoffs at Loral Instrumentation, has not forced staff reductions at Loral Data Systems, Loral Terracom and Loral Microwave Communications.

Loral Corp.'s four San Diego divisions, which account for 1,100 of Loral's 8,100 employees nationwide, generated $100 million of the New York-based company's $664 million in revenues during the fiscal year ended March 31. Loral Instrumentation generated about $30 million in revenues during fiscal 1985.

The layoffs represented a "shifting of gears," O'Connor said. "Loral Instrumentation has been growing very rapidly and has (been forced) to position itself more closely to market demand."

The company, which was a part of Loral Data Systems until 1982, has enjoyed "incredible growth rates of nearly 40% during the past four to five years," O'Connor said.

Loral Data Systems "has just completed a record year," O'Connor said. "We foresee them continuing a growth pattern. They've got a lot of new business."

Although a Loral spokeswoman told The Times on Tuesday that the company would not comment on layoffs, President Jerry Stamper confirmed the rumors to the San Diego Union.

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