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Lockheed accepts Obama’s ‘guidance’ and will delay sending tens of thousands of layoff notices until after the election

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By Doug Powers  •  October 1, 2012 01:26 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

As we discussed on Saturday, the Obama administration has offered to cover expenses (court-ordered penalties, severence costs, etc) for contractors willing to ignore the WARN Act by delaying sending layoff notices to tens of thousands of their employees who will likely be hit by Pentagon budget cuts.

Following up on that, today, Lockheed Martin said “count us in”:

Lockheed Martin said Monday it will not issue employee layoff notices this year, ending an election-year showdown with the Obama administration.

The company said it based its decision on new guidance issued Friday by the Office of Management and Budget and the Pentagon.

The guidance said the Pentagon did not anticipate killing any contracts on Jan. 2, the day automatic spending cuts are set to begin hitting defense spending. The guidance also said the federal government would cover severance costs that are mandated under a federal layoff notices law.

The decision by Lockheed means tens of thousands won’t get layoff notices days before Election Day, which might have cast a crucial blow against President Obama’s reelection chances.

Republicans argue that last week’s guidance was a politically motivated effort by the administration to protect Obama ahead of the election.

We’ve seen bank bailouts and auto bailouts — welcome to the Obama re-election effort bailout.

And the inevitable hypocrisy:

In 2007, Democrats led by Sherrod Brown, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton proposed the Forewarn Act, which would have strengthened the WARN Act by expanding the number of companies under the law’s jurisdiction and requiring 90 days’ notice. The bill didn’t go anywhere. Now, apparently, the president not only opposes the principles underlying legislation he himself supported, he opposes WARN entirely.

What’s not being answered is this: The Obama administration is arguing that the WARN Act isn’t applicable in cases involving sequestration. If that’s true, why are they putting taxpayers on the hook to cover costs the WARN Act mandates if that law doesn’t apply to this situation?

(h/t JWF)

**Written by Doug Powers

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