Morton Thiokol has laid off about 15 workers and a dozen more may be laid off in the future as a result of Air Force cuts in the Midgetman missile program, a Thiokol official says.

Company spokesman Rocky Raab said the others will be laid off if Thiokol cannot find suitable positions for them. The corporation will try to reduce most of its 345-person work force through transfers and normal attrition, he said."It is not completely possible to absorb all 300 workers," he said. "It is not yet clear if any additional work force reductions are required. If we do have to have any more layoffs, they'll be on the order of about a dozen if that's necessary.

"It depends on what other positions are available," Raab said. "The 15 ones (Thiokol laid off Thursday) we were unable to match so far."

He said about 50 workers will continue with the small Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program, also known as Midgetman.

Raab said the company has been working on reorganizing since April 1, when the Air Force announced $153 million in cuts in Hercules' and Morton Thiokol's Midgetman contracts.

A total of 616 people were involved in the programs, many of whom were to be moved to other jobs.

Raab said Thiokol has put the laid-off workers at the top of a rehire list, but at this point no jobs are available.