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. Gibbs, spokesperson 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."Read more on: Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine