Rockwell Collins says 468 retiring

Number falls just short of company's goal to reduce its head count by 500

Rockwell Collins on Tuesday said 468 employees accepted a voluntary separation retirement incentive offer, falling just short of the company’s goal of reducing its overall head count by 500, or 2.5 percent.

The Cedar Rapids avionics and communications equipment supplier announced the plan in September, citing projected continued slow sales of business jets. About 2,000 of the company’s 20,000 employees worldwide were eligible for the program.

“This certainly is a great help in meeting the financial targets that we announced earlier in the year,” said Pam Tvrdy, a Rockwell Collins spokeswoman. “From our perspective, it was an extremely successful effort. We will continue to review our staffing needs. Now that we know how many people have accepted the package, we will have a better idea of our staffing needs versus what our business requires.”

To take advantage of the program, employees had to be 60 years of age or older by Dec. 31, be paid on a U.S. payroll, not covered by a collective bargaining agreement; not an hourly production and maintenance employee, and employed at Rockwell Collins or a subsidiary immediately before the date they chose to leave the company.

The exclusions eliminated virtually all but salaried employees from taking advantage of the program. The program was not focused on any particular area of the company or location.

Employees had until Monday to apply for the program. Once they were accepted, they could terminate their employment at any time, but it must be by Dec. 18.

Kelly Ortberg, Rockwell Collins president and CEO, said the company does not expect to see the business jet market improve significantly in the next year. That segment of the commercial jet market accounts for 20 percent of Rockwell Collins’ overall revenues.

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