Friday, August 02, 2013

139 jobs being cut at 2 Lockheed Martin sites in upstate New York; 367 layoffs planned nationwide

  • Lockheed Martin Corp. says it will lay off 139 workers at two upstate New York plants this month as part of the defense contractor’s cutting of 367 jobs nationwide.
  • Lockheed announced Thursday that 114 workers will be laid off at the company’s Electronics Park in Salina, outside Syracuse. Another 25 will be laid off in Owego in Tioga County.  

Washington -- Lockheed Martin Corp. said today it will lay off 114 employees from its campus at Electronics Park in Salina, part of a larger cutback of 367 employees nationwide.

The Salina layoffs affect employees mostly in engineering and program management jobs. Most of those subject to the layoffs will be asked to leave the company by Aug. 15, Lockheed Martin officials said.

"Reducing our workforce is not a decision we make lightly," Lockheed said in a statement. "This reduction is necessary to address current business realities, including uncertain program funding, a delay in contract awards and an extremely competitive market. These realities require us to continue our focus on tightly controlling costs to remain as affordable as possible."

All told, the layoffs affect 367 U.S.-based employees across Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Training division.

Keith Little, a Lockheed spokesman in Rosslyn, Va., said the affected employees will receive "workplace assistance" but he did not say if they would receive any severance packages.

Little said the layoffs are not tied to any specific project or program at the Salina campus. The local plant won a big order from the Army on June 27 for $206.8 million in mobile radar systems that can track incoming rocket, mortar and artillery fire from any direction.

The company said in June that the big order would help maintain the Salina workforce of about 1,900 people. But Little said Thursday night that employment at Electronics Park is currently about 1,700. He said that number will be reduced to about 1,600 employees after the round of layoffs.

Lockheed Martin is the world's largest defense contractor, and one of the largest private employers in Central New York. The company has continued to record big profits, even in the face of federal budget cutbacks and the automatic sequester spending cuts.

In addition to the radar contract, Lockheed Martin's Salina plant has benefited from at least two other big military contracts this year. In March, Congress approved spending an additional $380 million to finish developing the MEADS anti-missile system.

In April, the U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed's Salina campus a $57 million contract to upgrade the fleet's electronic warfare defenses against anti-ship missile threats.

Despite cutbacks in U.S. defense spending, Lockheed Martin generated $47.2 billion in sales last year, and had profits of more than $2.7 billion in 2012. The company employs about 118,000 people worldwide.

Last week, the company reported second-quarter earnings rose 10 percent, thanks to stronger profits in its mission systems and missile divisions, which includes Electronics Park in Salina. The company also benefited from a lower pension charge.

For the quarter, Lockheed reported a profit of $859 million, up from $781 million in the same quarter last year. Revenue for the quarter was down 4.3 percent to $11.41 billion. 

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