Sperry Marine prepares to cut local jobs, again

It appears that employees at Charlottesville-based Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine will be facing another round of layoffs. According to company officials, employees were notified on October 19 of plans to eliminate a total of up to 800 positions at the company's Electronic Systems sector facilities in Maryland and elsewhere across the U.S. by the end of January. The majority of the job eliminations are expected to occur at the company's Maryland locations.

Back in May, 60 local Sperry Marine employees were let go, and another 26 lost their jobs in June. Prior to each wave of layoffs, employees were offered a "voluntary separation" option, i.e. buyouts, ahead of "involuntary separations" by a set deadline. Indeed, the same option is being offered to Sperry employees as part of the October 19 announcement. 

"Eligible employees will receive details of the voluntary separation program in the next few days with the voluntary separation program to be completed by the end of the year," says Alleace M. Gibbsspokesperson at the Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems sector headquarters. “Should these voluntary efforts not fully address the staffing situation, we will initiate an involuntary reduction to ensure our headcount is consistent with our current and anticipated business base.  We expect the involuntary reduction to be completed by the end of January 20, 2012."

The layoffs, says Gibbs, are the result of reductions in defense spending that will require the company to become more competitive to secure contracts. 

"Every effort will be made to assist impacted individuals in finding new employment," says Gibbs. "Affected employees will receive all separation and other benefits to which they are entitled and the company will also provide outplacement assistance to help those who will be seeking other employment including at other Northrop Grumman facilities.”

At the time of a telephone inquiry by the Hook early this year, the company reported having over 800 employees in Charlottesville. Today, Gibbs reports, there are 665 employees working at the Sperry Marine facility. Back in 2006, during the company's celebration of 50 years in Charlottesville, CEO John DeMaso credited Charlottesville's dedicated employees for the company's success.

"Twenty-five percent of our Charlottesville employees have been with the company for over 25 years," DeMaso said. "Thirty percent have 20 plus years, and 50 percent have been with us more than 10 years."   

25 comments

These sleaze bags are not to be trusted. I was part of the first round back in June of 2010, so this will be round number 4. They lied through their teeth about what we were going to receive in the form of benefits and they will continue to keep doing that. I really believe that this company is not long for this world here in C'ville. It just doesn't make sense for a big plant that is a military contractor and zoned industrial is going to stay put while surrounded by the new shopping, movie theater and hotel complex. That property is going to make a great area parking garage.

Can anyone be surprised? The looming, disastrous impact of Obamacare combined with Congressional ineptitude in budgeting has a put a chokehold on business. Contracts are being canceled or delayed, production grinds to halt, and jobs must repeatedly be cut to weather the storm.

Northrup Grumman/Sperry Marine has been an stalwart in this community for over 50 years. No matter how many name-changes or other changes over the years, it has been one of the most reliable employers we have. What does a third round of layoffs tell you about the seriousness of our economic situation?

STILL, President Obama (hands down the worst president in my lifetime) and the Democrat-controlled Senate (no national budget in nearly 1,000 days - did you know that?) fight all spending cuts, want to raise taxes on job creators, and spend more and more money we don't have on government programs.

You can tax the rich until you bleed them dry of every penny they have and you won't make a shred of significant gain for our economy. IF WE'RE LUCKY, it's not too late and we can send the President back to Chicago in January 2013.

I wonder what share of the 1 trilllion in fraud Nor-Grum is guilty of?

For 50 years they've been guilty of fostering the DoD nanny-state culture like the above post exhibits. This hometown disgrace has produced generations believing themselves patriotic and deserving, but as soon as they face that the "demand" for their services came from decades of fictitious wars, ( gulf war1, the Iraq and Afghan. invasions,) they start upchucking this crap about "taxing job creators," and " chokehold on business," Cut and pasted from the Robert Hurt website.

With any luck, someday we'll reduce the DoD and their legions of leeches to the size where we can drown them all in a bathtub.

Bill Clinton and his defense secretary Les Aspin drastically cut the war machine and it created a better fighting force.

Feet to the Fire - our economic downfall started with your idiotic idol, George W Bush who was never elected BY THE PEOPLE. That is the truth. Instead of this being a "political" issue why don't we try to figure out how to improve the economy without politics? What an amazing thought! For the record the President doesn't do much in the scope of economic conditions - it is Congress and all the Corporations who do that! As there is separation of Church and State - there should be separation of Corporations and Government.

The writing has been on the wall for awhile...like entitlements the defense budget has grown too large for the taxpayers to support. BOTH need a chainsaw taken to them.

Buffet paid 17% in taxes, how much did you pay?

@Feet Sure you don't have your foot in the fire and wondering what the smell is?

You're right in their with the "Keep your Socialism off my Medicare" paradoxicans of the Tea Party. Cut taxes and spending and we spend less on military. This means defense industry jobs go away. You get this right? That's OK Bob McDonnell doesn't either.

If we want a smaller national defense then we need to accept a smaller number of defense related jobs in the economy. Sounds like a nessasary situation to me. They should treat their employees fairly with reasonable severance but if the jobs need to go so be it.

Warren Buffet paid 22 MILLION dollars in taxes. (250 bucks an hour) How much did YOU pay?

Looks like our water use will fall even farther --stop the dam and dredge.

Overbuilding and overspending for new infrastructure and not maintaining what we have is a recipe for higher taxes, higher utility fees, and a less attractive climate for businesses.

The $200 million dollar cost of the dam/pipeline plan is suppose to be paid for by speculative growth. Well what if it doesn't happen then who will pay for this plan ? --Right --us !

Elect Fenwick and Smith and stop the dam.

Warren Buffet lives off of capital gains and pays the taxes associated with that choice.

Buffett and those who legally pay nothing, pay what is/was required by law.

At least those who paid nothing won't be audited by the IRS or chastised by the left, nor will they create an atmosphere for employment like Warren Buffett.

tim,
I paid 26% percent. What's your point other than I paid a higher percentage?

I worked in the defense industrial complex for 12 years, military service then GE aircraft engines. I saw the waste first hand and it would really shock you. I only agreed with a few moves Bill Clinton made and cutting defense was one of them.
Another would be Monica.

what's the dam vs dredge argument got to do with defense jobs???????????

You figure it out !!!

sounds like they haven't done much hiring in the last 10 years.

I was in the military, and the waste was unreal. We used to just shoot up ammo at the range, because if we didn't use it all up then we would get cut back the next year. The reserves were the worst, we had officers and senior NCO's who just sat around drinking coffee all day and collecting a pay check until they got their twenty years. I am as patriotic and pro-defense as anyone, but from my own experience you could cut half the defense budget and be just as safe. The only issue is when they cut the budget, they never trim the fat. They cut stuff like the Marine Corps and stuff for the lower enlisted soliders.

Regardless the role Sperry plays in defense contracts its a shame to see people loose their jobs. Having said that I would hope this to be a trend for all DOD contractors. Of course the need to find, or fund other means of labor sources is the problem. Why our president AND congress have a problem finding the answers is beyond me. The solutions are quite simple.

DoD employees, contractors and soon to be former employees- GET OVER IT!

If you have marketable skills and talent, you will another job, probably even better. If not, then let the Government find one for you...........

My father saw layoffs coming and got on with the UVA in the engineering department. That was 1960, 50 years ago.

My dad worked there as well during the 1960's, was laid off but re-hired in the 80's when they made periscopes. A few years into his retirement he was informed that his pension and medical were gone.

They are keeping the dregs of society and making them management. Like their new production manager. The one who wrote up someone for going beyond their usual duties to get a system out for a customer. Instead of thanking the individual, she instead writes them up?? What sleaze bag garbage.

Former employee- I would think that there is more to the incident than you know or have disclosed.

You know you are a schmuck when you hold a job that when a mistake is made you are "written up"
Then this write up is placed in a human resources file.

“Action is the antidote to despair.” ~Joan Baez

Instead of fighting, crying, or complaining, funnel that energy into focus and action. Look for a better job. The more job ads you answer, the more calls you make, the more networking you do, the better you'll feel.

Jobs 411- "but there are no jobs, wa, wa, wa - can't the Government do something for me?"