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Northrop Shipbuilding lays off workers

Nov. 12, 2010 at 3:35 PM

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding said Friday 380 salaried employees at its Newport News, Va., shipbuilding facility were dismissed with immediate effect.

"This is a necessary step to improve efficiency across the organization," said Matt Mulherin, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Newport News. "While this is a very difficult decision, it is a critical and necessary step in order to control costs, effectively manage overhead, improve efficiency and lower the acquisition costs of our products to better secure the future of our shipyard and the affordability of the ships we build and overhaul for the U.S. Navy."

The workforce reduction is the first the facility has experienced in more than a decade.

The company said the reduction affects salaried workers only and is driven, in part, by the completion of major milestones on existing contracts. The largest example is the near completion of the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier design.

Affected employees will receive information on eligibility for severance benefits and other career and other transition services to assist them in finding new employment.

Of the 380 affected employees, more than 100 have been identified as having prior trades experience, such as in welding, and have been offered hourly positions.

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