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Fact Check Friday: Fox, The President, And Lockheed Layoffs

Lockheed Martin F-22 Take Off (credit: Perry Bindelglass / Special to CBSNewYork)

Lockheed Martin F-22 Take Off (credit: Perry Bindelglass / Special to CBSNewYork)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - It’s Fact Check Friday, when we shed light on various claims going around.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot Checks The Facts

Fox News Channel has reported that, “Lockheed Martin saying that they will not issue layoff warnings before the November election.”

That’s from an e-mail that’s been circulating saying 123,000 Lockheed Martin workers were going to be fired weeks before Christmas as a result of sequestration, the catch-all term for the budget cuts that would happen if the U.S. government goes over the fiscal cliff.

We enlisted the help of factcheck.org, a nonpartisan non-profit part of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

The viral e-mail says that President Barack Obama sat on the news until after the election or at least got Lockheed Martin to sit on the news.

Is that true?

“Well, there are two parts to this claim and this comes from these viral e-mails that we get all the time,” factcheck.org’s Eugene Kiley told WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot. “One was that Lockheed Martin was going to lay off 123,000 workers. It’s total workforce is 123,000 employees. They couldn’t be possibly laying off all of its employees. So, in the actual number is, they estimate, very rough estimate, of 10,000 potential layoffs and it’s not because of Obama’s downsizing in the military. It’s, as you say, as a result of sequestration.”

And that may or may not happen.

What about the report, also on Fox News, that the President asked Lockheed Martin to wait to release this bad news until after the election and an offer of taxpayer money to pay for the layoff notices?

“What that’s a reference to is at one point Lockheed was threatening to issue layoff notices to their employees, but the administration said it’s no need to do that because there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding whether or not these budget cuts are actually going to happen and if they do happen, they’re not going to happen on January 2nd,” Kiley said. “And they didn’t promise to spend any taxpayer money here. What they did was they said that ‘If you fail to comply with the Warren Act, we’ll pay for any legal costs. But you can charge us for any legal costs.’ The administration made that promise knowing that they didn’t have to pay out any costs there wasn’t going to be any budget cuts at that point in time.”