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Honeywell moves jobs out of U.S.

The Arizona Republic

Phoenix-based Honeywell Aerospace plans to move 700 manufacturing jobs from Phoenix to Mexico and the Czech Republic.

Employees were notified Thursday of the cuts, which will begin in the second quarter of 2009 and continue for three years. Most of the job cuts are expected in the first year.

Workers who asked not to be identified said the news caught employees completely off-guard.

The affected jobs are at Honeywell’s 34th Street facility at Sky Harbor International Airport, where the company and its predecessors Allied Signal and Garrett have built jet engines for almost 60 years.

The jobs are being moved to existing Honeywell factories in Chihuahua, Mexico, and Olomouc in the Czech Republic in order to make the company more “globally competitive,” company spokesman Bill Reavis said.

Reavis said the move only affects manufacturing jobs and not engineers, who will remain in Phoenix. He added the company has no plans to close the 34th Street facility and will continue to employ about 2,000 people there after the manufacturing jobs are moved out.

Affected workers will be offered severance and invited to apply for other positions at other Honeywell facilities.

In February, Honeywell moved 420 aerospace jobs overseas In June, more jobs were lost when it sold its Phoenix-based hardware-distribution business.

Reavis said the company is hopeful that with retirements, voluntary severance and job transfers, Honeywell will wind up laying off fewer than 100 people.

The layoff announcement followed a Wednesday visit by Dave Cote, chairman and CEO of Honeywell International Inc., the $37 billion-a-year New Jersey parent of Honeywell Aerospace.

Last month, Honeywell announced that its fourth-quarter profit would be less than expected, and its stock price has suffered.

Honeywell shares closed down $2.75, or 9 percent, Thursday and have dropped 55 percent this year. Investors are worried that the economy could hurt its military and commercial-aircraft businesses.

The announcement came two days after Barack Obama, who has promised to take a hard line with companies that move manufacturing jobs overseas, was elected the 44th U.S. president.

Honeywell Aerospace is one of the Valley’s largest employers, with about 10,000 people working at facilities around the Phoenix area.

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