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March 05. 2013 1:46PM

BAE begins layoffs in southern New Hampshire

NASHUA - Local layoffs totaling nearly 200 people at BAE Systems facilities in southern New Hampshire started Monday as the multi-national defense contractor, based out of London, England, began layoffs across the globe due to what company officials call "a downturn in defense."

With 200 jobs expected to be cut in New Hampshire and a plan that calls for a total of 300 positions worldwide to be reduced, the Granite State is bearing the brunt of the worldwide layoffs.

The defense contractor has been contracted to build submarines, aircraft carriers and fighter jets and is one of the largest private employers in the state with multiple locations in Nashua and Hudson.

"The layoffs are not specific to one division, discipline or area, but are happening across all job types in BAE locations across the globe. In total, 23 facilities were affected by the layoffs, including facilities in New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Texas," said Kristin L. Gossel, BAE director of external communications.

BAE Systems' electronic systems sector, which is headquartered in Nashua, employs about 4,600 people in southern New Hampshire.

Gossel said employees who are losing their jobs will receive a severance package, adding that the cuts could be the tip of the iceberg. She said the company might be forced to layoff thousands of American employees if Congress is unable to come to a compromise over looming sequestration cuts.

Despite the fact that BAE has announced that sequestration cuts could force the company to lay off 10 percent of its 37,300 U.S. employees, Gossel said, "The (current) layoffs have nothing to do with sequestration, they are a result of the downturn of defense."

BAE Systems employs 83,600 people worldwide, operating in markets in Australia, India, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom, along with America.

"We at BAE Systems, like military leaders, most national security experts and defense and aerospace industry workers, urge Congress to act immediately to reverse the automatic and across-the-board cuts to defense spending from sequestration which occurred on March 1. If these dire warnings are not heeded and sequestration is permanent, the indiscriminate nature of these cuts will have a devastating impact on our national security strategy and the strong industrial base needed to support our armed forces now and in the future," Gossel said.



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