Friday, May 13, 2011

USA sends out notices for final shuttle layoffs

As Endeavour counts down to its final launch on Monday morning, shuttle contractors are marching forward with plans for layoffs that will accompany the program's end this summer after two more flights.

Lead shuttle contractor United Space Alliance this week sent out notices to roughly 1,900 local employees likely to be laid off in July and August, the company confirmed.

The 60-day notices are required by law under the federal WARN Act. The final tally could be slightly lower.

Houston-based USA announced its plans for end-of-the-shuttle-program cuts a month ago. They're expected to total about 2,800 jobs -- half the company -- including about 850 positions in Texas and 50 in Alabama.

Most of the Florida cuts are currently expected to take effect July 22. Additional cuts will follow Aug. 12 and Aug. 26.

The layoffs were to start July 15 when the final shuttle launch was targeted for June 28. NASA now expects Atlantis to launch no earlier than the second week of July, and USA has pushed the layoffs back a week. 

That date could be adjusted with the flight, but it's possible the layoffs could begin before Atlantis returns home.

USA now employs about 3,300 at Kennedy Space Center.

Among other large contractors involved in processing the shuttle or its payloads, The Boeing Co. expects to let go about 310 of its 750 KSC employees after the last mission this summer.

1 comment:

Dr. Dan Woodard said...

The shutdown of the Shuttle program is an unfortunate mistake. It is working reliably and could continue to fly safely until a replacement is operational. The decision to scrap it was made in January 2004, to almost no notice, during the administration of George W. Bush.