Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Lockheed Martin Seeks to Cut 1,000 Jobs: Voluntary program available to midlevel employees in seven U.S. locations

The Wall Street Journal
Updated March 8, 2016 7:44 p.m. ET

Lockheed Martin Corp. said it is launching a voluntary layoff program in its aeronautics business that aims to reduce 1,000 positions in the U.S., or about 0.8% of its total workforce.

The voluntary program announced Tuesday is available to midlevel employees in seven U.S. locations, including Edwards Air Force Base in California; Palmdale, Calif.; Fort Worth, Texas; and Marietta, Ga.

The Bethesda, Md., company said the cuts are needed “to position Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to be competitive in the future marketplace, secure future business opportunities, and keep an infrastructure appropriately aligned with customer demands.”

Lockheed didn’t provide further details on the timing of the staff reductions or on the financial impact of the moves. The company employs some 126,000 people world-wide, it said in a news release.

The move follows the announcement this month by the U.S. Air Force that didn’t name Lockheed among the seven main partners slated to join lead contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. on the multibillion-dollar B-21 bomber program.

And in February, the company dropped a legal challenge to its loss of a contract to Oshkosh Corp, to build thousands of new trucks for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps.

Lockheed had sued the Pentagon after last year failing to secure the $6.75 billion deal to build almost 17,000 joint light tactical vehicles, or JLTVs. A federal claims court judge last week refused Lockheed’s request for a preliminary injunction that would have forced Oshkosh to stop work on the program.

Also, earlier this year, Lockheed—the world’s largest military contractor by revenue—unveiled plans to carve out its big government information-technology unit to focus on more profitable work building military jets, helicopters and missiles.

The company said it would combine its IT business with Leidos Holdings Inc. in a tax-driven $5 billion deal that would give its shareholders initial control of the national security and health solutions specialist, as well as ammunition to pay down debt and continue its share-buyback plan. 

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