Sperry Marine cuts 37 jobs

Corporate officials say 37 employees of Albemarle County-based Sperry Marine received notice that their jobs would be eliminated and the workload transferred to existing operations in Great Britain.

The employees are in Sperry Marine’s U.S. business headquarters division, located near the company’s U.S. 29 maritime systems facility. That plant currently employs more than 600 in the company’s maritime systems division and serves as division headquarters.

A handful of the 37 employees affected by the layoffs may be allowed to transfer to a different position in the Albemarle plant, said Jack M. Martin Jr., spokesman for Northrop Grumman, Sperry Marine’s parent company.

“The remainder of the Sperry Marine headquarters staff will be laid off, effective Jan. 31, 2012,” Martin said.

Northrop Grumman in October announced plans to cut up to 800 jobs in the electronics division, the corporate segment that includes the Charlottesville operations. It is the second round of layoffs by the defense contractor this year. In May the company laid off 60 local employees as part of an effort to cut 500 jobs. In June 2010 the company eliminated 26 local jobs as part of a worldwide 300-job workforce cut.

Earlier this fall, the company eliminated 500 jobs in its California aerospace division and moved that headquarters from California to Falls Church.

Martin said the company also is considering the elimination of 60 to 70 positions at its Sperry Marine facilities throughout Europe.

The Naval and Marine Systems Division, headquartered in Albemarle, develops shipboard radars, navigation and ship control systems, undersea systems and submarine propulsion systems for both military and commercial customers worldwide.

In announcing layoffs and job reductions in March, the company said the cuts were in response to decreased business volume and uncertainty in international and domestic programs, especially in military programs. Unfortunately, the market remains uncertain.

“Sperry Marine provides products and services for the international marine industry, an economic segment hit hard by the global recession. This has translated into reduced customer orders for our Sperry Marine products and services,” Martin said. “It is imperative that we realign our facilities and staffing levels to better meet the requirements of our customers in what we anticipate will be an increasingly competitive and challenging global marine industry going forward.”

Officials said the terminated employees will receive the separation benefits to which they are entitled and that the company would provide assistance in helping them find new jobs.

Source: The Daily Progress