Federal cuts looming on the other side of the fiscal cliff forced Mickey Boyers, president of Virginia-based UHP Projects, a small business that cleans and coats surfaces for one of the largest U.S. builders of government aircraft carriers, to lay off nearly 100 workers -- including his own son.
“I hired my son, my oldest son,” Boyer recalled in a recent interview with Bloomberg. “He worked for me for a year, did a great job as a mechanic...went through the training process,” said the father of five. “I laid him off.”
The fiscal cliff of more than $600 billion in tax increases and reductions in defense and other federal programs, slated for the start of 2013 unless Congress acts, could deal additional blows to UHP's bottom line as government work dries up and demand for the company's products falls, Boyer said.
"We're not Newport News Shipbuilding, we're not General Dynamics, we're not Lockheed Martin," Boyer said of the big defense contractors. "They have enough critical mass to be able to withstand [cuts]," he added.
As for UHP, a much smaller operation that's seen revenue plummet 70 percent in recent years, Boyer wondered, "Do we have enough critical mass to weather the storm?"
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