Pink slips being printed as Congress vacations

Pink slips being printed as Congress vacations

Hundreds of Pentagon-related companies large and small are preparing to lay off thousands of employees as Congress takes a recess this week, so far unable to agree on how to undo automatic military spending cuts set to begin March 1.

BAE Systems Inc., a global giant that provides an array of goods and services for the military, estimates that it will have to lay off as many as 4,000 workers this year, including technicians who work on aircraft, ships and vehicles and who earn an average of $50,000 a year.

Meanwhile, Ammcon Corp. of Portland, Ore., which makes pipe joints and flanges for aircraft carriers and submarines, says it will have to lay off about 25 percent of its 45 employees if the defense spending cuts begin March 1.

These and other defense contractors are bracing for automatic, across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration — which could lead to as many as 1.2 million lost jobs, according to an estimate by Stephen S. Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University.

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