Lockheed lays off 1,200 workers at space division

Lockheed Space Systems Co. announced it is restructuring its workforce to eliminate 1,200 jobs by year's end.

Lockheed Martin Corp.'s space systems sector announced a workforce reduction of 1,200 employees to be implemented by year’s end.

The sector currently employs about 16,000 and is based in Denver. The company said the layoffs would reduce costs and improve Lockheed's competitive posture, according to a news release dated June 14.

In the workforce restructuring, about 25 percent of middle management jobs will be eliminated, and smaller percentages of other types of jobs will be affected, the company said. The greatest impacts are anticipated at the space systems locations in Sunnyvale, Calif.; the Delaware Valley region of Pennsylvania; and Denver.

"In today's economic environment, we have two choices: make painful decisions now or pay a greater price down the road,” Joanne Maguire, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems, said in the news release. “This is a difficult but necessary action to improve efficiencies and make our business more competitive going forward. We will remain relentlessly focused on achieving operational excellence and mission success for our customers as we position to deliver more affordably in the future."

Eligible salaried employees will be offered voluntary layoffs to minimize the number of involuntary layoffs that will occur. Career transition support will be offered to all affected workers.

With headquarters in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is ranked No. 1 on Washington Technology’s 2011 Top 100 list of the largest government contractors.