TRW Automotive has trimmed more jobs at its east Mesa airbag inflator plant in Arizona and put remaining workers on short work weeks to cope with decreased demand, a company official told a local paper.

Company spokesman John Wilkerson told the Tribune about 25 people have been laid off since the start of the year, which followed other reductions late last year. About 480 employees still work at the plant, down from about 570 in November and 3,000 at the peak of TRW’s Mesa operations in 1999.

“The first quarter of 2009 has gotten worse from the production standpoint,” he said. “The Big Three did a lot of closures of assembly plants in January. … It’s just a time that we have to get through.”

Orders from foreign auto producers such as Honda softened the blow of the decline in domestic auto production in recent months but now the decline has spread globally, Wilkerson said.

“It’s really not great for anyone,” he said. “We’re hopeful that car sales will pick up … and we’re hoping to see that trend start as soon as possible.”