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Lockheed Martin’s IT unit announces voluntary layoff program

John Amis/AP file photo

Lockheed Martin Corp. announced a targeted, voluntary layoff program for midlevel employees working at the company’s Information Systems & Global Solutions unit.

In a memo sent to employees on Jan. 31 and posted on career news website Dice.com, Patricia Lewis, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for human resources at the Information Systems and Global Solutions business unit, told employees that the company was offering the program as part of an “ongoing affordability initiative.”

Lewis said IS&GS was offering qualified middle managers (Level 5 and Level 6 in the unit’s civil, defense and national organizations as well as centralized functions) the opportunity to leave the company with severance benefits. Employees have until Feb. 28 to nominate themselves for the program and will be notified on March 8 if their requests have been accepted.

A Lockheed Martin spokeswoman told the Washington Post that the company aimed to reduce its workforce by 300-350 employees. However, the company still may lay off employees if enough of them don’t volunteer for the program, according to the memo obtained by Dice.

The layoffs may be linked to the division’s poor financial results. During Lockheed Martin’s fourth quarter conference call on Jan. 24, the company said the unit had seen a 14 percent year-over-year reduction in sales due to a shrinking federal information technology budget. Though the prospect of across-the-board cuts from sequestration have been unsettling government contractors, Chief Executive Officer Marillyn Hewson said that the company was not factoring it into their 2013 forecast but did note that it could occur as the “default outcome if negotiations [failed] to produce an agreement.”

Other major contractors have taken measures to reduce their workforce in the face of a tightening defense budget. Boeing Co. announced layoffs at a Texas based facility in January, the same month General Dynamics cut workers at a Stryker production facility in Alabama and reported $2 billion in losses in the fourth quarter of 2012. 

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