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Lockheed Plans Further Job Cuts Due To VH-71 Ending

Lockheed Martin had already cut over one hundred jobs at their Upstate New York facility in Owego. This was mainly due to the decision by Obama and Secretary of Defense Gates to end the VH-71 New Presidential Transport helicopter program. Even though the aircraft was made in Italy Lockheed did all the modifications and integration in Owego.

Despite a great deal of argument and pressure to keep the program going in some form or another the contract was recently terminated. Lockheed is now saying that another seven hundred and fifty people may lose their jobs. Right now they are looking for people to voluntarily leave or retire with a promise of severance. The plan is to begin the layoffs in July based on how many people agree to leave voluntarily.

One of the arguments against ending this and other production programs is that they will just add to the joblessness during the current recession. Of course the defense budget is not really a jobs program and that is fairly poor reasoning to continue spending billions of dollars on a system that does not meet requirements. It is still possible that Congress will pass some form of spending that will keep pieces of the program alive in the 2010 defense budget but that will not be finished until the Fall.

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