Nearly 600 people will leave Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems as part of a voluntary buyout, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
The company, which has a large campus in North Redondo Beach, offered the buyout due to uncertainty over sequestration—a series of Pentagon budget cuts that could exceed $500 billion over 10 years. The cuts could begin in January if a budget agreement is not reached in Congress.
"Because of defense budget uncertainties and pressures on current and projected business, we must adjust our budgets by the end of this year to be prepared to meet the challenges of what shapes up as a demanding 2013," spokesman Thomas Henson said in a statement. "This is a necessary step to address the affordability that will allow us to effectively compete in a very cost-conscious marketplace."
According to the Times, 666 people applied for buyouts; the company accepted about 590. About 17,000 Southern Californians work in the aerospace division, and about 13,000 of them work in the South Bay.
The buyout program, which offers a severance package that included a payout and medical insurance benefits, began in July. Most of the employees who took a buyout will leave by the end of the month, the Times reported.
In 2011, Northrop Grumman's Redondo Beach campus held 45 contracts from the federal government for nearly $419.8 million.
In April 2011, the company cut 500 jobs in its aerospace division.