Archive for May, 2009
By Caren Z. Turner, Esq.
April 14, 2009
Domestic suppliers, including over 25,000 employees who work directly on the F-22, are still trying to absorb an intense body blow dealt by Secretary Gates. Suppliers across the nation are “dumbfounded” at Secretary Gates’ determination that the F-22 should be discontinued.
The Administration’s determination is all the more shocking because of the depth and breadth of the jobs that will be lost nationwide.
Over 194 Members of the House of Representatives, 44 Members of the Senate, and 17 of the nation’s governors have written to the President and outlined the critical impact of the program on the nation’s jobs, national security and our industrial base.
At present Lockheed Martin is assessing whether they will fight the recommendation or whether they are better off acknowledging that they must “play nice” with the new Administration – in order to get along for the next 4 years.
Subcontractors, many of whom are union employees, are seething that their jobs are likely to be lost….and production is likely to begin to wind down shortly. As recently as last week, high level officials at the Air Force recommended purchase of a total of 243 aircraft. Now, however, they are being told to “Salute the Chief and Stand down “and accept the recommendation of 187 aircraft. Employees around the nation – 25,000 will be faced with layoffs.
Members of Congress have already begun to launch opposition to cessation of the program. It is uncertain whether the Congress or the Administration is willing to die on the sword over the F-22.
Certainly, from our perspective, and the national economic crisis, it seems an inopportune time and contrary to public policy to lay off as many as 25,000 highly trained and highly paid employees. Members of Congress and their staffs have openly admitted, “we do not want to see the manufacturing parking lots empty.”
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