Back in 2007 a group of Democrat Senators, including one Barack Obama, looked to strengthen the WARN Act which requires that companies that have federal contracts or receive federal money give their employees at least 60 days notice before any lay offs. The Democrats wanted to expand the number of companies covered by the WARN Act and extend the notification requirement out to 90 days.
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 law backed by these Democrats didn’t pass, but the WARN Act remains in effect and it covers Lockheed Martin, which has numerous federal defense contracts. But now President Obama, unlike Senator Obama, isn’t so concerned about federal companies giving advance warning about layoffs. At least, not when the layoffs might prove inconvenient for his re-election campaign:
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.