Tyco Electronics' recent announcement that it plans to lay off 20,000 employees by September typically has not impacted workers within the company's unit that builds and manages mission-critical radio networks, according to a Tyco spokesman.

A maker of electronics and telecommunications components, Tyco Electronics has been hit hard by the global economic downturn, particularly in its automotive division. During the quarter ending on Dec. 26, the company reported a 21% decline in sales compared to the same period the previous year and expects an even greater decrease in sales during the current quarter.

With this in mind, Tyco Electronics unveiled a plan to cut its workforce by 20% by September, with many of the layoffs accompanying plant closings worldwide. However, Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems — the unit commonly referenced as M/A-COM in the public-safety communications industry — generally has been unaffected, with one notable exception, Tyco Electronics spokesman Mike Ratcliff said.

"I can't give you any specifics, but we did have a small number of layoffs in New York state, which was a result primarily of the termination of the New York state wireless-system network project," Ratcliff said during an interview with Urgent Communications. "Other than that, I'm not aware of any layoffs in our wireless-systems business."

In January, the state of New York terminated its $2 billion, 20-year contract with Tyco Electronics M/A-COM, claiming that the vendor's initial phase of an expected buildout of a statewide wireless network (SWN) failed multiple tests conducted by the state. M/A-COM has contested those findings and is pursuing legal action on the matter.

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