Announced layoffs may not materialize

Navy personnel said contract renegotiations are underway.

Nearly 200 Oak Harbor workers may lose their jobs at the end of the year due to the end of a contract between Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and Mississippi-based contractor Amentum.

According to Navy personnel, however, the layoffs are not imminent, as the contract may yet be renewed.

On Oct. 31, Amentum filed a notice as per the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act stating that approximately 194 employees currently assigned to work at the base will be laid off effective Dec. 31 due to a contract ending.

The notification states that Amentum has no seniority system that provides bumping rights to other contracts, but that the company will try to reassign as many interested workers as possible.

Navy spokesperson Michael Welding said that the notification is a “normal part of the contract business cycle.” The Navy’s contract with Amentum is under renegotiation, Welding said, but has not yet been finalized. The WARN Act requires employers to give at least 60 days notice of a mass layoff, so the company had to file the notice because the contract end is less than 60 days away and renegotiations were incomplete.

“The Navy does not expect any layoffs under this contract,” Welding said.

An HR representative from Amentum did not respond to the News-Times’ request for comment.