Fog of Uncertainty

Lockheed Martin CEO Robert Stevens told members of the House Armed Services Committee on July 18 that the defense industry is “hungry” for more information about the looming budget sequestration so it can “act more responsibly” while informing employees about potential layoffs. Federal law mandates companies must give at least 60 days notice to employees of a potential layoff; however, because the sequestration remains so vague, it’s likely significantly more notices will go out than necessary, potentially leading to a mass exodus of talent and skill from the industry, he said. “From an industry perspective, our near-term horizon is completely obscured by a fog of uncertainty,” said Stevens. He added, “With just 167 days remaining until it takes effect, we have little insight as to how sequestration will be implemented and no insight into which programs will be curtailed, which sites will be closed, which technologies will be discontinued, which contracts will be reformed, and which suppliers, particularly small businesses who are so vital to our supply chain, will be shut down or severely crippled.” (Stevens’ prepared testimony)