EL SEGUNDO: Adjustments are made after outsourcing cut into defense company’s needs. By Muhammed El-Hasan STAFF WRITER The first group of employees to be laid off because of a restructured business area at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems in El Segundo saw their last day Wednesday, the company said. As many as 60 employees will be impacted by the defense giant’s outsourcing of some operations to a Chatsworth company called Natel Engineering Co., Raytheon said Thursday. Raytheon did not give the number of employees affected by the first wave of layoffs. “We adjust how we do business over time,” Raytheon spokeswoman Sabrina Steele said. “Sometimes we make decisions based on our suppliers’ ability to assume discreet tasks. Other times, we shift the work our employees do to meet our customer requirements.” The affected workers are a small fraction of the 8,000 Raytheon employs in El Segundo. In July, Raytheon sold Natel equipment to manufacture microwave integrated circuits used in tactical radar and electronic warfare products. As a result, Natel is expected to manufacture those products for Raytheon as part of a long-term supplier agreement. The value for the equipment sale was not given. “(Raytheon) is projecting the layoffs to be completed by the end of the year, but it may or may not end up that way,” said Kevin Dodd, president of Electronics and Space Technicians Local 1553 in Hawthorne, which represented the affected employees. “It depends on how successfully the new company that bought these operations will be able to complete the work.” While the agreement between Raytheon and the union calls for a maximum of 60 employees to be affected by the reorganization, Steele and Dodd both said the final figure could be closer to 50. By Dodd’s last count, layoffs will include about 21 technicians and 16 assemblers, with about a dozen voluntary buyouts. Such outsourcing agreements and other types of shifting of resources are common in the industry, Dodd said. A Natel official did not return a call seeking comment. However, a Natel release in July said: “The transaction is a positive development for both parties, with (Raytheon) divesting a non-core product and Natel strengthening its position as a RF/Microwave manufacturer.” Another part of the agreement between Raytheon and the union is that laid-off employees would have opportunities to return to the El Segundo firm under different job classifications. Laid-off employees often can return to Raytheon if a position that fits their job classification opens. However, the affected employees in the reorganization have such specialized job classifications that finding an equivalent job is unlikely, Dodd said. “This was a specialized operation in Raytheon,” Dodd said. “A lot of people have never held job classifications outside of that area. So through our negotiations, we were able to give both assemblers and technicians the opportunity to be re-employed in other areas that are similar to the work they used to do.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!