IRVINE — In another sign of the weakening aerospace and defense business, Parker Bertea Aerospace said Tuesday that it will lay off 240 employees at the end of this week.
About 200 of the layoffs will be in Irvine, and 40 jobs will be cut at the company's facility in Ogden, Utah.
With its second layoff this year, Parker Bertea joins other county defense and aerospace firms--including Hughes Aircraft Co., Rockwell International Corp., Interstate Electronics Corp. and McDonnell Douglas Space Systems Co.--that have cut hundreds of jobs this year because of downturns in business.
Parker Bertea said the layoffs represent 16% of the 1,450 employees at its Control Systems Division. The unit manufactures engine control systems for commercial and military aircraft, as well as hydraulic systems known as flight actuators that control the movement of such aircraft parts as landing gear or wing flaps.
The workers were told about the layoffs April 22. All employees affected will receive one week's severance pay for each year of service, up to eight weeks of pay.
Parker Bertea said it is providing outplacement services to the affected employees. About 40 positions will be eliminated through voluntary early retirement or transfers to other company divisions.
The layoff is the latest in a series of reductions at Parker's six divisions in Irvine during the last year. Employment at the Irvine plant will dip to 2,980, from 3,361 at the beginning of 1990.
Parker Bertea laid off 41 people in February and attributed the cuts, in part, to cancellation of the Navy's A-12 attack jet program.
Parker Bertea is a subsidiary of Cleveland-based Parker Hannifin Corp.
James Lowes, vice president and general manager of Parker Bertea, was not available Tuesday for comment.
Two weeks ago, Lowes said the company's role as a subcontractor on the Advanced Tactical Fighter, a $14-billion development program that the Pentagon has awarded to Lockheed Corp. in April, would help preserve the company's work force.
Cheryl Morosco, a company spokeswoman, said the ATF contract has prevented more extensive layoffs, but she declined to comment on whether the Control Systems Division is profitable.
In general, Lowes said, the company's work force will remain stable as the ATF work takes up the slack from programs in decline.