Lockheed Martin to Furlough 3,000 Workers; Effect in Colorado Springs Unknown

By Jonathan D Salant; Kathleen Miller Bloomberg News | The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), October 5, 2013 | Go to article overview

Lockheed Martin to Furlough 3,000 Workers; Effect in Colorado Springs Unknown


Jonathan D Salant; Kathleen Miller Bloomberg News, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO)


WASHINGTON - Lockheed Martin Corp., the biggest U.S. government contractor and one of the biggest private employers in Colorado Springs, said Friday it has identified about 3,000 employees for furloughs on Oct. 7 because of the partial government shutdown.

"I'm disappointed that we must take these actions and we continue to encourage our lawmakers to come together to pass a funding bill that will end this shutdown," Marillyn A. Hewson, Lockheed's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. She said the number of workers on unpaid leave is expected to increase weekly if the shutdown continues.

The company did not say which of its many operations in the U.S. would be affected by the furloughs. Lockheed also has facilities in Boulder, Denver and Centennial.

Warnings of planned or potential furloughs, coupled with pleas for an end to the funding impasse in Washington, extended beyond Lockheed. Boeing, the No. 2 contractor, said Friday it may have "limited furloughs" beginning next week. The Aerospace Industries Association, a trade group, said that tens of thousands of defense workers face furloughs.

"I view it as a domino," said Mark Amtower, who runs a government contracting consulting firm in Clarksville, Md. "If Lockheed can do it, then you'll see several of the other top 20 start to drop off, too."

Some Lockheed employees aren't able to work because their jobs are in closed government facilities, their tasks require government inspections or the company has received an order to stop work, the company said in a statement.

Lockheed fell less than 1 percent to $122.50 at the close of trading in New York. The Bethesda, Md.-based company received $36.9 billion in contracts in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2012, according to a Bloomberg Government study.

The Lockheed employees affected by furloughs were to be notified Friday, Hewson said in a memo to workers.

"If you want to make your voice heard on this issue, I urge you to contact your members of Congress on your personal time," she told them.

Boeing "is seeing increasing effects on certain daily operations that involve U.S. government facilities and people," spokesman Dan Beck said in an email.

"While the company is working to limit the negative impact of the shutdown on customers and employees, we expect more consequences could emerge in the coming days, including limited furloughs of employees in some areas," he said. …

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