News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron General

Hospice of the Western Reserve


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business


Lockheed's move out of Akron: A story of shock and sequester
Defense contractors say the U.S. budget cuts have a real impact
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Lockheed Martin is eliminating 500 jobs in Akron by mid-2015. About 50 or 60 will remain at the airdock.
Courtesy of M.L. SCHULTZE
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The union representing about a hundred of the 500 people who will lose their jobs at Lockheed Martin is holding onto hope – that Lockheed will change its mind or that Congress will rescind cuts to the defense budget. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the reaction a day after Lockheed’s surprise announcement.

LISTEN: Lockheed and the squester

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:03)


Lockheed and a company called Meggitt own separate pieces of what once was Goodyear Aerospace. And unionized workers at the two plants still share UAW Local 856, whose headquarters sits on a hill in southeast Akron overlooking the iconic Akron airdock.

Back in the late 80s, the union had about 1,400 members. These days, close to 200 work at Meggitt, another 90 or so are at Lockheed. Fred Jones is president of the local.

“I hope that things can be changed. I hope that there will be a lot more people kept at Lockheed than what they’re talking about.”

Does he have any reason for that hope? There's a long pause. Then he answers: “Not really.”

Then Jones notes that Meggitt, where he helps make aircraft braking systems, had at one time planned to close down much of its Akron operations.

“I know that Sen. Sherrod Brown … talked to them and there’s a lot more people here than at the time when they first were starting to move to Mexico. So hopefully, Sen. Brown and other congressional leaders, maybe they can change their (Lockheed’s) minds where they can keep more people here.”

The question of the sequester
But in announcing the layoffs, Lockheed blamed Congress – at least in part – for the decision. The defense contractor said federal budget cuts have forced the consolidation nationally, cutting about 4,000 jobs.

Jones says it’s important for Congress to hear that message.

“You got these congressmen and senators who talk about wanting to cut the budget. Well, when you talk about cutting the budget with the government, you’re talking about people losing jobs. And I don’t think these people really realize that, or maybe they don’t care – I don’t know which it is. But you can’t cut budgets and think these people who have military contracts are going to keep a job, ‘cause they’re not.”

Local congressional reaction was united in condemning Lockheed’s decision. But Democrats also lambasted the federal budget cuts known as sequester that sprang from a congressional impasse last year.

Tim Ryan is one of four members of Congress whose districts include Akron.

“We’re not sitting down and hammering this out like adults. And to me that’s the shame of it all. We said when this happened, there are going to be job losses in Ohio, and nobody seemed to listen. ... And here we are many months later with significant job loss in the city of Akron.”

Another of Akron’s representatives, Republican Jim Renacci, said he, too, was “deeply troubled by the announcement.” But he added that -- based on discussions with Lockheed—he believes “the closure is part of Lockheed’s consolidation plan that started in 2009,” well before the sequester.

Lockheed has pledged to keep operations at the airdock, which is expected to save about 50 or 60 jobs. 

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio lawmakers propose grants for home construction for disabled people
We have been trying to have a "Visitability Bill" passed for years. Thanks, Greg

Lake County crimes may give Trump immigration fodder
Shoddy reporting at best. "Mixed views" The question that came to my mind was, "How many people did he have to interview to get "mixed views". Do the two peo...

Ohio's U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown announces plans to improve Medicare by lowering prescription costs for seniors
Sounds good. I'm living in Florida to escape the snow. So far it's working. I retired from GM in 2000. Keep pushing for all the working people. In the long run ...

The tiny town that time, and elections, forgot may go out of existence
Thank you for this story. I grew up in Limaville, my parents home is there still...unsellable due to the septic/sewer problem. Sometimes I am sorry I left...wis...

Where Ohio'sJohn Kasich stands in the presidential polls
We are fans of Gov. Kasich since he served in the House of Representatives. It pleases us to finally see him as the potential President of the United States. We...

Cleveland hosts the first national Movement for Black Lives conference
What a wonderful experience this was, So much love and understanding, without all of the other distractions that tend to come with organizing for change, this e...

Air Force unit gets training and Youngstown gets rid of some eyesores
Do they have to totally destroy all the beautiful oak and leaded windows, which I am thinking are probably there? Do they just have to destroy them like that? C...

Jewish challah and Native American fry bread at an Akron cultural exchange
Each time I saw the young students relate to each other, I got goose bumps. These young students can and hopefully will teach all of us to live and respect eac...

One of the Cleveland Orchestra's most celebrated musicians bids farewell
I had the honor of studying with Franklin Cohen in the late 80s and early 90s. He is unparalleled both as a clarinetist and as a musician. His deep personal war...

Summa's dress code is not 'etched in stone'
SOME OF THESE POLICIES ARE A COMPLETE JOKE. UNLESS YOU ARE DOING THESE TYPE OF JOBS EVERY DAY, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IS COMFORTABLE AND REASONABLE OR NOT. UNLESS ...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University