Most IBEW Space Shuttle Workers Stay On The Job For Now
August 16, 2010
The latest round of layoffs at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida spared the jobs of most of the IBEW members who work on NASA’s Space Shuttle program.
NASA contractor United Space Alliance issued layoff notices in late July to more than 900 space center workers. Just seven of the affected workers are IBEW members, and three of them took voluntary layoffs, according to Dan Raymond, business manager of Cocoa Beach, Fla., Local 2088. The local represents more than 800 workers at the space center.
“The bulk of the layoffs are from the non-represented work force,” Raymond said. “The company realizes that as long as the shuttles are still flying, they need our workers to keep flying them safely.”
The layoffs take effect October 1, ahead of two final shuttle flights scheduled for November and February. Congress is moving toward approval of a third and final shuttle flight early next year.
Extensive layoffs are expected following each of the three launches, but NASA has not announced which employees will be affected by the cuts.
The shuttle fleet is being retired as the Obama administration moves toward privatizing the nation’s space program. The IBEW has represented shuttle workers since the start of the program more than 30 years ago.