Northrop Grumman cuts jobs at Newport News

Tough news from Matt Mulherin, VP and GM of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding - Newport News. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding has cut around 380 salaried employee jobs at the shipyard. The cuts were effective Friday.

All impacted employees will receive information on eligibility for severance benefits and other career and other transition services to assist them in finding employment. Of the approximately 380 affected employees, over 100 have been identified as having prior trades experience and have been offered hourly positions, such as welders, electricians, for example.

Calling the cuts "a necessary step to improve efficiency across the organization," Matt Mulherin, VP and general manager of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding - Newport News, said that "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."

Northrop Grumman said the job cuts were the first reduction Newport News has experienced in over a decade. It said only salaried workers were impacted and that the cuts were "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."

"We regret that we cannot always prevent reductions, but we will continue to work to keep them to a minimum," Mr. Mulherin said. "We understand the impact this has, not just to our employees and their families, but also to our communities."

November 12, 2010