Gene Taylor: Northrop Grumman layoffs could have been avoided

PASCAGOULA, Miss. — Layoffs at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding never should have happened, and some Navy officials feel Northrop drove up contract prices to increase the value of the yard ahead of a possible sale, U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Bay St. Louis, said.

Northrop spokesman Randy Belote said the company “does not comment on rumors or speculation, nor will it discuss issues pertaining to acquisitions or divestitures.”

A Navy spokesman could not be reached Thursday for comment.

During a meeting with The Mississippi Press editorial board on Thursday, Taylor said it’s reasonable to think a pricier order book would drive up the value of the yard.

Northrop Grumman announced in July that it planned to consolidate Gulf Coast shipbuilding in Pascagoula, closing its 4,800-employee yard in Avondale, La., near New Orleans, by 2013. At the time, Chief Executive Officer Wes Bush said a spin-off was likely.

Mississippi Press
9/10/10