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Layoffs Hitting NASSCO Shipyard

— The rest of the country may be coming out of the recession, but a San Diego ship builder says it’s just beginning to feel the economic downturn.

NASSCO shipyard in San Diego is building 14 T-AKE replenishment ships for the U.S. Navy. T-AKE 3 Alan Shepard is seen here in July 2007.
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Above: NASSCO shipyard in San Diego is building 14 T-AKE replenishment ships for the U.S. Navy. T-AKE 3 Alan Shepard is seen here in July 2007.

General Dynamics' NASSCO says it’s planning to lay off about a third of its production workforce, about 900 people, in July. Two-hundred and fifty subcontracting positions may also be cut.

NASSCO builds Navy and commercial ships, and repairs Navy ships. Spokesman Karl Johnson said the shipbuilding industry tends to trail behind the rest of the economy. He said the recession is just hitting the industry now.

“In the markets that we address on the shipbuilding side, there’s just been a sustained downturn,” he said. “And on the Navy shipbuilding side there’s just been fluctuations that we just can’t get past right now.”

Johnson said there are things that could happen in the coming weeks that might lessen the number of layoffs. He said the company does not yet know how many people will be let go.

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