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August 16, 2005

Layoffs at Northrop Grumman Gulf yards

Northrop Grumman Ship Systems told employees yesterday that its expects to lay off 900 employees at the Ingalls and Avondale yards by the end of the year.

In a letter to employees reprinted in today's Sun Herald newspaper, Phil Teel, president of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, says that "defense budget reductions, and shipbuilding program and schedule changes with regard to LPD 17-Class ships and the DD(X) Program have impacted the amount of work available to us over the next several months. Because of this, we are regrettably left with no other option than to reduce our workforce across the sector by about 900 employees by year's end--less than five percent of our workforce".

"Let me be clear," Teel writes, "We are exhausting every option available to us to make the number of actual layoffs as small as possible, including natural attrition, cross-training, prioritizing the reduction of subcontractor personnel, for example. But, inevitably there will be some involuntary layoffs in the process."

The Ship Systems Gulfport, Miss. facility is not likely to be impacted by the planned layoffs.

Northrop Grumman is expected to begin to build up the Ship Systems labor force again in 2007 and 2008.

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