Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of U.S. shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HHI), has started the layoff process of 480 employees.
“While this is a very difficult decision, it is a necessary step to effectively control our costs and successfully manage our business during a decline in work.
It is something we take very seriously and is a last step after all other options have been exhausted,“ Matt Mulherin, President of Newport News Shipbuilding, said in a letter to employees on Tuesday.
The job cuts come amid a significant slowdown in business operation, which is expected to pick up in 2017.
As indicated in the letter, additional layoffs are expected in 2016, however; it has not been disclosed how many people would be affected in the next round of layoffs.
“We are providing severance, benefits and transition assistance to help them in finding other employment. Because of relevant past experience, we have identified 77 of the 480 impacted employees that will be offered hourly employment positions,” the letter reads.
“During this stressful and challenging time, please remember that the workload valley has both a beginning and end as our workload increases again in 2017. Please continue to focus on your work at hand. Strong, safe performance is the best way we can weather this workload valley,” Mulherin concluded.
Newport News Shipbuilding is the sole designer, builder and refueler of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and one of two providers of U.S. Navy submarines. With approximately USD 4 billion in revenues and more than 23,000 employees, it is the largest industrial employer in Virginia and among the largest shipbuilding companies in the United States.
World Maritime News Staff