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Entries in lockheed martin (5)

Monday
Oct012012

At White House Request, Lockheed Martin Drops Plan to Issue Layoff Notices

Kari Goodnough/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Defense contractor Lockheed Martin heeded a request from the White House Monday -- one with political overtones -- and announced it will not issue layoff notices to thousands of employees just days before the November presidential election.

Lockheed, one of the biggest employers in the key battleground state of Virginia, previously warned it would have to issue notices to employees, required by law, due to looming defense cuts set to begin to take effect after Jan. 2 because of the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction -- the so-called supercommittee, which was created to find a way to cut $1.5 trillion from the federal deficit over the next decade.

Such massive layoffs could have threatened Obama’s standing in the state he won in 2008 and is hoping to carry again this November.

On Friday, the Obama administration reiterated that federal contractors should not issue notices to workers based on “uncertainty” over the pending $500 billion reduction in Pentagon spending that will occur unless lawmakers can agree on a solution to the budget impasse, negotiations over which will almost definitely not begin until after the election.

Contractors had been planning to send out notices because of the WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) which according to the Department of Labor requires “most employers with 100 or more employees to provide notification 60 calendar days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs.”  

In a statement Friday, GOP Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte accused Obama of putting “his own reelection ahead of the interests of working Americans and our national security by promising government contractors that their salary and liability costs will be covered at taxpayer expense if they do not follow the law that requires advance warning to employees of jobs that may be lost due to sequestration. … Apparently, President Obama puts politics ahead of American workers by denying them adequate time to plan their finances and take care of their families. The people who work in the defense industry and other government contracting companies deserve as much notice as possible that they are on track to lose their jobs.”

In July the Labor Department issued legal guidance making clear that federal contractors are not required to provide layoff notices 60 days in advance of the potential Jan. 2 sequestration order, and that doing so would be inconsistent with the purpose of the WARN Act.

In Friday’s memo, the Office of Management and Budget reiterated that notice, urging agencies’ contracting officials and CFOs to “minimize the potential for waste and disruption associated with the issuance of unwarranted layoff notices.”

The guidance issued Friday told contractors that if the automatic cuts happen and contractors lay off employees the government will cover certain liability and litigation costs in the event the contractor is later sued because it hadn’t provided adequate legal warning to its employees, but only if the contractor abides by the administration’s notice and refrains from warning employees now.

After “careful review” Lockheed announced Monday that it will abide by the administration’s guidance.

“We will not issue sequestration-related WARN notices this year,” Lockheed announced in a written statement. “The additional guidance offered important new information about the potential timing of DOD actions under sequestration, indicating that DOD anticipates no contract actions on or about 2 January, 2013, and that any action to adjust funding levels on contracts as a result of sequestration would likely not occur for several months after 2 Jan.  The additional guidance further ensures that, if contract actions due to sequestration were to occur, our employees would be provided the protection of the WARN Act and that the costs of this protection would be allowable and recoverable."

“We remain firm in our conviction that the automatic and across-the-board budget reductions under sequestration are ineffective and inefficient public policy that will weaken our civil government operations, damage our national security, and adversely impact our industry.  We will continue to work with leaders in our government to stop sequestration and find more thoughtful, balanced, and effective solutions to our nation’s challenges,” Lockheed said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug132012

Lockheed Martin, Boeing Settle F-22 Fighter Wrongful Death Suit

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kasey Close(NEW YORK) -- Defense contracting giants Lockheed Martin and Boeing have settled a wrongful death lawsuit leveled against them by the widow of an F-22 fighter pilot killed in a crash shortly after his plane malfunctioned, a Boeing spokesperson said.

The settlement, first reported by Aviation Week, is the culmination of a suit filed in March against Lockheed Martin, Boeing and other major defense contractors involved in the plane's production by Anna Haney, the widow of Capt. Jeff Haney. Anna Haney accused the contractors of knowingly providing the Air Force a "dangerous" and "defective" aircraft.

"The matter has settled and the settlement terms are confidential," a Boeing spokesperson told ABC News. The spokesperson declined to comment further.

Capt. Haney, father of two young girls, had just completed a routine training mission in Alaska in November 2010 when his F-22 malfunctioned and cut off his oxygen. The plane went into a dive and, about a minute later, slammed into the winter wilderness at faster than the speed of sound.

After a months-long investigation, the Air Force released a report claiming, "by clear and convincing evidence" that Haney was to blame for the crash because he was essentially too distracted by his inability to breathe to fly the plane properly.

The Air Force said they did not believe Haney was unconscious due to lack of oxygen at any point in his ordeal -- a claim strongly disputed by his family and questioned by other F-22 pilots, aviation experts and the Pentagon's own Inspector General, who has launched a rare review of the Air Force investigation. Haney's family said it was more likely he had passed out due to lack of oxygen at least part of the time and, therefore, could not be held responsible for the crash.

"I'd like to think it's easier to blame Jeff. He's not here to defend himself," Jennifer Haney, Capt. Jeff Haney's sister and family spokesperson, told ABC News in an exclusive interview in May. "To them, Jeff was a number, it feels like sometimes. But those jets are worth a lot of money."

Jeff Haney's wife, Anna, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Lockheed Martin and other contractors involved in making the plane in March, charging that they were allowed full "latitude" in the details of the plane's design and were therefore responsible for the mishap that took Haney's life.

Lockheed Martin said at the time the lawsuit was filed that while Jeff Haney's death was a tragedy, the company disagreed with his widow's claims and would fight them in court. A Lockheed Martin spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment on this report.

The F-22 Raptor, America's most expensive fighter jet at $420 million-a-piece, was the subject of an ABC News Nightline investigation after on more than two dozen occasions pilots reported experiencing the symptoms of oxygen deprivation in mid-air. In one instance, a pilot apparently became so disoriented that he flew down and skimmed treetops before righting the aircraft and saving himself.

The Air Force recently claimed to have solved the potentially deadly F-22 conundrum and maintains it was wholly separate from the malfunction that hit Haney's plane before his crash.

Despite going combat operational in late 2005, not one plane in the $79 billion fleet has been sent into combat. From Iraq and Afghanistan to last year's "no-fly zone" over Libya, the Air Force said the sophisticated stealth fighters simply weren't necessary.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec302011

Boeing Beats Out Lockheed for Missile Defense Contract

Stephen Morton/Bloomberg via Getty Images(HUNTSVILLE, Ala.) --  The Boeing Company will hold on to the seven-year contract worth about $3.5 billion for the primary U.S. shield against intercontinental ballistic missiles, Bloomberg reports.

Boeing beat out the world's largest defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, and has held the contract totaling up to $18 billion since 1998, according to Bloomberg.

The system, called the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD), uses radars and other sensors, communications terminals, command facilities and a 20,000 mile fiber optic communications network "to defend the United States against long-range ballistic missile threats," according to a statement The Boeing Company.

Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said the selection was based upon a two-year proposal process.  According to Bloomberg, the award likely went to Boeing as a result of cost consideration.  For the first time, this contract will require that contractors be held financially responsible for poor quality parts.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May302011

Holiday Hack Attacks Plague PBS, Lockheed Martin

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- This holiday weekend has seen a number of prominent cyber attacks.

Since Friday, there was a fake news story posted on the PBS website that claimed murdered rapper Tupac Shakur was alive and well in New Zealand, and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin found itself the target of a data breach.

Add to this a claim from Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-NY, that a hacker allegedly sent a lewd photo to one of his online followers via his Twitter account. It should be noted unlike the former incidents, Weiner's situation has not been confirmed as the work of a hacker.

"It's not a prank and it's not covered by free speech any more than someone who takes a spray can and writes all over your house," said Parry Aftab, an online privacy and security lawyer. "Everything on the Internet belongs to someone."

Aftab said he expects these high-profile attacks will have an impact.

"Expect to see a lot more regulatory hearings and action from the FTC and Congress about how we look at this," he said.

The confirmed attacks on PBS and Lockheed Martin come just weeks after a security breach at Sony affected millions of its Playstation users. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May292011

Hackers Target Lockheed Martin

Stockbyte/Martin Poole(BETHESDA, Md.) -- Global security company Lockheed Martin said its information system network was the target of a “significant and tenacious attack” on May 21.

The company issued a news release on Saturday saying that the attack was picked up by Lockheed Martin’s information security team “almost immediately,” and that its personnel took swift and deliberate action to protect the company’s systems and data.

This aggressive action, has allowed the company’s systems to remain secure, and no customer, program or employee personal data was compromised in the hack attack, say company officials.

Lockheed Martin is a global security firm that specializes in research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services, according to the company’s website.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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