ULA lays off potentially dozens of workers, but company and union can’t say how many

DECATUR, Ala. - The same week United Launch Alliance had a big to-do about a new partnership, an employee of ULA contacted WHNT News 19 to say dozens of workers had been laid off in Decatur.

He says he believes it was 68 people. He was one of them.

So we asked the company how many people they'd fired this week.

They won't say. A spokesperson tells us that's "to protect competitively sensitive information."

Their statement on the layoffs reads:

"United Launch Alliance continues to transform our company to provide cost-effective solutions for our customers, while we maintain our focus on mission success. As we announced last year, ULA would have two workforce reshapings, one in 2016, which was completed, and one in 2017 to accomplish our business goals. We accomplished more than 65 percent of the 2016 and 2017 reductions through voluntary layoffs. We appreciate all of our team members’ contributions and understand the difficulty and stress that reductions place on the impacted employees and their families."

So we reached out to the union that represents workers at ULA.

They say, at this writing, they don't know how many people have been laid off. Their statement reads:

"The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union (IAM) did everything possible to maintain employment for our members at United Launch Alliance. It is unfortunate that ULA made these layoffs. Our members at ULA have been a vital part of America’s historic space program and they are proud of what they accomplished. IAM is still working to find placement for them in the same industry and hopefully right here in the Huntsville area. IAM will continue to work with other community and faith groups to assist our members with job search and placement assistance. The IAM is prepared to provide adequate resources to help our members through this difficult period in their lives."

So with maybe as many as 68 people out of work, no one is willing to say for sure.