Lockheed Martin CEO Bob Stevens sat down with reporters yesterday to discuss the impact deep automatic defense cuts will have on his company and the people he employs.
FICTION: The Defense Industry Can Survive Deeper Cuts: "From an industry perspective, the near-term horizon is completely obscured by a fog of uncertainty," Stevens told reporters on Tuesday, calling it a "fiction" that the U.S. defense industry was robust enough to survive additional cuts. Reuters 6/19/12
JOB LOSSES: Deeper Cuts Force Companies To Lay Off Employees: “We’re compelled to start talking to our employees — 123,000 of them and 40,000 suppliers — which, you might guess, all of whom want to know: ‘Am I going to have a job in January, and am I going to have a contract in January?’ ” he said. “And the answer from us today is we’re not clear about that.” The Hill 6/19/12
LAYOFF NOTICE COMES THIS FALL: Waiting For A Lame Duck Session Is Too Late: Additional budget cuts could also force Lockheed to lay off about 10 percent of its current workforce of 123,000, Stevens said, noting that current law requires the company to give employees 60 to 90 days' notice of possible job cuts. He said Lockheed had already reduced its workforce by about 18 percent over the past three years. Given the current lack of information about which weapons programs would be affected, the company could have to notify every single one of its employees as early as October or November - just before the U.S. presidential election - about possible layoffs, he said. Bruce Tanner, Lockheed's chief financial officer, said the cuts could result in a total of 500,000 job losses next year alone, including about half from the federal government and 100,000 to 200,000 across the defense industry. Reuters 6/19/12