NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- BAE Systems is moving ahead with a round of layoffs.
Karl Johnson, the spokesperson for BAE Systems, told 13News Now 50 people were laid off on Friday. About 250 more will be laid off before the end of June.
Johnson says the layoffs are a result of the company not knowing which contracts the Navy will award them as part of the defense budget.
Johnson says there is a chance that some, if not all, of the ship contracts could be awarded to the shipyard. In that case, the laid off workers might be called back to work.
The shipyard originally notified workers of the possible layoffs at the end of March.
BAE Systems released the following statement on the layoffs:
BAE Systems has notified employees at its Norfolk, Va., shipyard that it will conduct a previously-announced workforce reduction from mid-May through the end of June. The workforce reduction will impact approximately 300 people and is the result of the Navy’s decision to delay the award of several competitive repair contracts earlier this spring. BAE Systems Norfolk shipyard directly employs approximately 1,000 people today.BAE Systems recognizes that the workforce reduction this month is directly impacting 300 talented men and women, our temporary workforce and our shipyard team overall. We greatly appreciate the contribution and hard work of the employees who will be leaving our organization.
Following BAE's announcement, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) also issued a statement about working with Hampton Roads shipyards for its ships' maintenance needs:
The Navy values the workforce in Norfolk and is anxious to get started with this work as soon as possible. In anticipation of a FY17 budget, the Navy issued request for proposals (RFP) for the three Norfolk availabilities (Mason, Whidbey Island, Nitze) on April 1, 8 and 22, respectively. Additionally, in conjunction with the May 5 budget signing, the Navy issued a request for information (RFI) asking industry to accelerate their proposals. Not all industry partners were willing to meet an accelerated competitive proposal submission timeline which resulted in no change to the original RFP submission dates. To date, the Navy has only received proposals on Whidbey Island. The Navy is ready to award these contracts as soon as possible after receiving the proposals. Additionally, the Navy is more than willing to accelerate the scheduled start dates of these availabilities once a contract is awarded."