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McKeon Statement on Lockheed Martin's Decision Not to Issue Layoff Warnings in New York


Location: Washington, DC

House Armed Services Chairman, Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA), made the following statement about Lockheed Martin's decision not to issue WARN Act notices in New York:

"President Obama has placed hundreds of thousands of defense workers and the companies who employ them in a no-win situation. I am sure that Lockheed Martin's decision today was motivated by the same concern for their workers' security as was their initial contemplation of WARN notices. It appears companies will bow to the threat implicit in last week's OMB guidance; withhold notices today or the government might not cover your court costs down the road. Let me be clear, neither the OMB guidance nor the Lockheed decision will protect a single defense industry job if sequestration occurs in January.

"Instead of engaging with Congress months ago to chart a resolution to this crisis, President Obama decided to issue politically motivated memos with dubious grounding in the law. In so doing, the President eliminated the very reason for having the WARN act in the first place. Notifications will not be sent to those at risk, even though we have heard directly from CEOs in hearings this summer that layoffs will occur. Further, even though the OMB directive purports to protect the defense industry against the costs of not complying with the WARN Act, they cannot guarantee how the courts would rule in such an action. Thus the President has pledged to compound the impact of sequestration by dedicating already scarce resources to cover needless court costs.

"These directives have not enhanced our national security and they haven't helped anyone's job security. The only thing the President seems interested in securing is his own re-election.

"President Obama could have chosen a more constructive path and engaged with Congress months ago. He could have signaled as late as last week that he was willing to stop using national security as a bargaining chip and come to the table. He could have acknowledged that in an increasingly dangerous world, sequestration creates needless uncertainty and emboldens our enemies. He did none of these things.

"The time has come to find a resolution to this crisis. The House has voted five times to find a constructive solution. The moment the Senate passes their version of a solution, whatever that solution might be, I am ready to sit down at the table and find the common ground we need."

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