Though the White House Office of Management and Budget has said that government contracting companies planning to cut thousands of employees under sequestration don‚??t need to send out advance layoff notices, a number of the nation‚??s largest contractors said they plan to alert their employees anyway. Administration officials have tried to avert the prospect of a flood of pink slips due to hit mailboxes just before the November election, but top Republicans (and Independent Joe Lieberman) on the Senate Armed Services Committee invited the companies to express their own thoughts about the sequester.
According to statements released by the office of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), 13 top companies wrote to decry the disaster that sequestration will spell to their business and work. BAE Systems, EADS, and Lockheed Martin, reportedly said they planned to send out layoff notices in spite of the White House‚??s urging to the contrary. CEOs wrote to say they were already suffering economically due to the prospect of the sequester.
Jim McNerney, Chairman, President, and CEO of The Boeing Company: ‚??[T]he mere specter of sequestration already is having an adverse effect on investment and employment within the defense industrial base due to the additional uncertainty it represents for companies ‚?¶ that are working to weather a fragile economy while absorbing almost $500 billion in defense spending cuts directed by last summer‚??s Budget Control Act of 2011.‚?Ě
Jay Johnson, CEO of General Dynamics: ‚??The uncertainty surrounding the ultimate nature of sequestration is already affecting our investment and hiring activities and this will accelerate as the months pass.‚?Ě
Robert J. Stevens, Lockheed Martin‚??s CEO: ‚??[Sequestration] will cause dramatic program and personnel dislocation within our industry, with our government customers, and will disrupt the lives of a significant portion of our 120,000 employees and their families.‚?Ě