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Some Northrop Grumman employees get layoff warning

FORT IRWIN • Military contractor Northrop Grumman may lay off an unknown number of area employees, pending renewal of a contract.

Some Northrop Grumman employees at the military installation were concerned when they received letters late last week saying that they could lose their job at the end of the month.

Fort spokesman John Wagstaffe said that the letters are required by law whenever a contract is up for renewal.
“Even if (the military) says we’ll have (the contract) out tomorrow, that letter has to be out there,” said Wagstaffe. “Some new employees might be worried but the old ones have been through this before.”

Wagstaffe said he hoped that Northrop Grumman employees are not panicking and sending resumes out quite yet.

Northrop Grumman human resources employees at Fort Irwin directed all questions to their corporate headquarters.

David Apt, senior vice president of communications at Northrop Grumman in Virginia, said that the government makes changes to contacts that could require staffing changes. He did not make any specific comment as to layoffs at Fort Irwin.

“We have a contract with government logistics support. The government sets the criteria for the contract. In regard to personnel changes, from our perspective, we have delivered on the contract. Contract modifications are done all of the time.”

An “indefinite layoff notice” received by Northrop Grumman employees said that the U.S. Government informed Northrop Grumman that some of their services were no longer needed because the 916th Support Brigade no longer requires them.

A Northrop Grumman employee, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the 916th recently returned from service in Iraq.

The wife of one Northrop Grumman employee — who asked that her name be withheld for fear of reprisal — said that the layoffs were all but certain. She said that the military was taking over a remote site on the base where her husband works. Her family moved to Barstow in September of 2009 with hopes of job security, but she believes her husband will be out a job by the end of the month.

“We have not heard of any reconsideration — the unemployment people have come to the plant, I don’t think it’s questionable.”

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