Lockheed holds off on sending layoff notices before elections
by Kim Isaza
October 03, 2012 01:25 AM | 10816 views | 13 13 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-east Cobb) thanks those who have worked on the F-22 Raptor Program on behalf of a 'grateful nation' during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Marietta.  (MDJ File /Laura Moon)
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-east Cobb) thanks those who have worked on the F-22 Raptor Program on behalf of a 'grateful nation' during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Marietta. (MDJ File /Laura Moon)
slideshow
MARIETTA — Lockheed Martin, which has about 8,000 employees in Marietta, announced Monday that it would not send out notices of possible layoffs to its employees right before Election Day.

The move follows advisories from the Department of Defense and the federal Office of Management and Budget “indicating that DOD anticipates no contract actions on or about 2 January, 2013, and that any action to adjust funding levels on contracts as a result of sequestration would likely not occur for several months after 2 Jan,” a Lockheed spokeswoman in Bethesda, Md., said.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 created a supercommittee to cut the federal deficit, but also contained a poison pill sequestration instituting across-the-board cuts of at least 9 percent if the supercommittee failed to make cuts.

Lockheed and other defense contractors warned this summer that layoff notices could be sent days before the election. In response, President Barack Obama’s administration on Friday said the government would cover severance costs if contracts are indeed canceled, resulting in layoffs.

According to The Hill publication, contractors that send out job-loss warnings before sequestration begins would not be eligible for such monies.

Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, who lives in east Cobb, agreed the layoff warning notices are being made a political football.

“This is my opinion: The president would like for sequestration to happen. It would force $1.2 trillion in cuts without any accountability, and it puts blame on Congress,” Isakson said. “But it would be devastating for our military and our country’s defense.

“Lockheed Martin has already been hit with the ending of the F-22. That, of course, cost jobs in Marietta, Cobb County and north Georgia. The impact of sequestration on forward orders for the C-130 and other aircraft would cause further layoffs,” Isakson said. “My personal opinion is that after the election, Congress will forestall it going into effect and make cuts individually on a cost-benefit basis. But prior to that, the uncertainty does have political consequences, and I think that’s why the president is doing what he’s doing.”

Denise Rakestraw, president of machinists union local 709 in Marietta, said she believes the company’s decision not to send out the WARN notices was based on discussions with the Department of Labor.

“I don’t know for sure whether it is politically motivated or not, but it sure seems that way,” said Rakestraw, whose local represents about 3,500 workers at Lockheed’s plant in Marietta. “The notice is designed for employees to be able to make plans to make a living. If the notice comes with no clear indication as to whether there is going to be layoffs, then the intent of it is lost.”

Lockheed spokeswoman Jen Allen said her company and its leaders still believe the sequestration cuts are ineffective and inefficient public policy “that will weaken our civil government operations, damage our national security, and adversely impact our industry.”

Lockheed Martin’s stock closed at 93.16 Tuesday, down 28 cents, on the New York Stock Exchange.
Comments
(13)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Jerry Slate
|
October 09, 2012
Using our money to keep workers where there is no work is unconscionable. Lockheed needs to keep going strong, the only thing foreign nations understand is a strong military, under our present government leadership it is failing to keep up. WE need to fire some one
FormerLMEmp
|
October 03, 2012
Welcome to National Socialism.
MAY-RETTA SURVIVOR
|
October 03, 2012
I wonder just how many of those who will be laid off voted for prezzdent obama and believed his lies. Serves them right!
Sky Blue
|
October 03, 2012
I am sorry you feel that way it doesn't matter who they voted for it is terrible to say that serves them right what a selfish remark, if you don't know what it is like to be without money, you would have never said something like that.
MAY-RETTA SURVIVOR
|
October 03, 2012
@Sky Blue: No apologies here...just the facts.
George Lucus
|
October 03, 2012
As a Lockheed employee I'm really disappointed in the decision that Lockheed has taken. Of course the ones that made that decision are the ones who make the millions off the worker bees who don't. Shame on everyone of the board of directors for screwing there employees.
CobbCoGuy
|
October 03, 2012
Denise Rakestraw, President of Local 709 in Marietta said, "I don’t know for sure whether it is politically motivated or not, but it sure seems that way.”

You're kidding, right?

What does your membership think?
D.G. in Clarkdale
|
October 03, 2012
The Obama administration is strong-arming companies doing business with the federal government into holding off layoff notices until after the election.

Does anyone with ethics see how wrong this is?

This kind of tactic is typical Chicago style politics but also could be seen as something you would expect from a third-world dictator..... Vote this corrupt clown out of office, because it will only get worse in a 2nd term! God help us!
lawless president
|
October 03, 2012
So now Lockheed Martin has to do exactly as Obama wishes so that the election won't be affected. This is just another dishonest action by our president who does not, in any way, deserve a second term. And what about the workers who will be affected by all of this? Oh, I forgot! If it comes down to them or Obama, they lose!
Sky Blue
|
October 03, 2012
I can't understand how a company could go along with this, it is the employees that are being hurt, we should all be so lucky to have the money that the people in the White House has, even if he is not elected he will be paid for the rest of his life, the government is going to be controlling everything if us Christians don't try and put a stop to it now, it has all been a lie from the get go, he said that the first thing that would go if he get's elected was the Lobbyist they are still here and if the deficite is not taken care of he will be a one term president well he has done neither and he had the gull to run again. We are in more trouble if he gets in again.
FROM TEXAS
|
October 03, 2012
Yea the Czar Obama says he’ll pick up the tab on that bet that tab gets passed the non 47%, the 53% will get to pay that. Of course since Hillary is has so much money maybe she can cover the cost. The good thing about this is if you’re on the bubble you won’t know what hit you but most likely later you’ll figure out you’ve been Obamaed!!

High Plains Drifter
|
October 03, 2012
I had to read your comment 3 times to begin to understand what you had to say.
MortalWombat
|
October 03, 2012
I work with students in a remedial setting in an attempt to help them learn how to use the written word to express their thoughts and feelings. I have seen some insanely screwed up attempts to convey said thoughts and feelings, but with diligence and patience I have learned to decode the lowest levels of writing. I still have no idea what From Texas or Sky Blue are talking about.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides