July 28--Lockheed Martin Corp. has informed 270 employees in Colorado Springs they will lose their jobs in September, when a key contract ends and moves to Raytheon Co., unless the Government Accountability Office upholds the defense giant's protest of the $700 million contract award in March.
Lockheed Martin said Monday in a statement it was required by the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act to send out layoff notices last week to the 270 workers at two sites in the InterQuest business park and at the North American Aerospace Defense Command. However, the company said it does not believe all employees who received notices "will be impacted," but still had to send out the notices 60 days before the layoffs are expected as required under the act.
The GAO isn't expected to rule on Lockheed Martin's protest until Aug. 26. Much of the work on the Integrated Space Command and Control contract ends on Sept. 30, though the contract doesn't expire until year's end. More than 500 employees of Lockheed and its subcontractors are assigned to the contract. While the company waits for a decision on its protest, Lockheed said in the statement that it is "actively placing at-risk (of layoff) individuals on other programs within the company."
Lockheed has held the contract since 2000 and received $2 billion during the past 15 years to operate and maintain information technology networks for air defense, missile warning and space defense systems used by U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command. The contract is one of the largest held by the company in the Colorado Springs area, where it employs more than 2,000. Lockheed Martin has a long history with NORAD -- the company came to the Springs in 1965 to get the facility up and running.
Raytheon officials said last month the company plans to hire 500-600 people by the end of next year to complete the Integrated Space Command and Control contract and second larger contract to support Air Force launch facilities at Cape Canaveral in Florida and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The company plans to begin hiring by adding 100-200 employees in August and September to work on the five-year Integrated Space Command and Control contract. Many of those employees could come from Lockheed Martin.
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