Defense Cuts Take Bite: Lockheed Layoffs

As Congress debates massive defense cuts, one of the globe’s biggest defense companies has slashed 740 jobs in a D.C.-based unit as part of a program aimed at reducing the company’s overhead.

Federal News Radio reports that 308 employees at Lockheed Martin’s D.C. headquarters were told Tuesday that "they will no longer have employment with the company." Another 432 employees left in May under a "voluntary layoff program."

A Lockheed spokesperson said that "budget pressures" are forcing the company to make tough choices, Federal News Radio notes:

A Lockheed spokesman told Federal News Radio fewer than 75 employees in the D.C. metro area were affected by the reductions, either through the voluntary layoffs or the cuts.

"Given the budget pressures facing our customers, Lockheed Martin is examining every aspect of our business to ensure we are as efficient and cost effective as possible in meeting their needs," said MS2 President Dale Bennett. "Reducing our workforce is a difficult but necessary decision to position our business for future growth and ensure we remain competitive."

Last month, Robert Stevens, Lockheed's CEO, who's retiring at the end of the year, warned of the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration set to take effect in January.