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Defense Chiefs Signal Job Cuts

Wall Street Journal (06/06/12) Nathan Hodge

U.S. defense contractors are preparing to disclose major job cutbacks ahead of the November elections if Congress fails to reach a deficit-reduction deal by then. Firms including Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. may lay off thousands of workers at the beginning of 2013, when more than $50 billion in new defense cuts could take effect—along with similar reductions across federal agencies.

Defense manufacturers and their suppliers employ around one million workers combined. Defense industry officials say that they will have to notify employees of potential layoffs 60 or 90 days ahead of time, in line with state and federal plant-closing laws. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining and Notification Act requires companies to notify employees in advance of mass layoffs and plant closings.