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

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


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's Supreme Court narrowly upholds Ashford Thompson's death sentence
"Justices" William O’Neill, Paul Pfeifer and Judith Lanzinger should all be immediately removed from the court. If they could actually believe that this murde...

Ohio's Sen. Brown is pushing for more assistance for homeless vets
That would be a great program to have for the homeless vets. Many of them are still suffering from PTSD even from the Vietnam war.

Lordstown GM plant plans to install 8,500 solar panels
How much will this solar array cost? How is it being funded, and who is really paying for it? How much real useful electricity will it actually produce in MEh p...

Local Ebola concerns cause officials to pay more attention to West Africa
I have a better idea, let's secure our borders and spend those billions of dollars on our own first.

HUD and Cuyahoga Land Bank extend a housing deal for another year
Need to sale lot, and would like to know how to contact someone to see if they may be interested in the property that sat between two lots. If you can give me...

Akron Beacon Journal details abuse claims against televangelist Angley
In the early 90's I went forth for pray. And the man was anointed by the hand of God. Just a fact I will never forget

Lawmaker questions why a million voters didn't get absentee applications
He's a damn lie! I vote n all elections. I missed 1. Haven't gotten my absentee ballot and their making it hard to get one.

Thirsty Dog Brewery warns it might have to leave Akron
Why is it the city's responsibility to find this guy a location? There are a hundred realestate companies that could help him.

Kent State sends home three after contact with second Ebola-stricken nurse
Why weren't all health workers who were around Duncan quaranteened for 21 days and tested for Ebola? That's a no-brainer. Why was Vinson allowed to travel right...

New book says Willoughby Coal is haunted...and that's good for business
Would love to see a series of books that would just thrill me. I cannot wait to visit some of the locations. And revisit some of the locations I have already vi...

Copyright © 2014 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