Lockheed Martin mum on whether plans to furlough 3K workers will - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lockheed Martin mum on whether plans to furlough 3K workers will affect Lufkin plant

BETHESDA, MD. (AP) - Lockheed Martin will furlough 3,000 employees on Monday and potentially more in coming weeks due to the government shutdown.

A spokesman for Lockheed Martin declined to comment on whether the planned employee furloughs will affect the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control plant in Lufkin, which employs a little more than 200 people.

"Today's announcement affects all our business areas across the country," a statement from Lockheed Martin said. "We remain in discussions with our customers to assess individual program impacts. This is an ongoing situation and it's premature to say where the immediate effects are right now."

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control expanded its Lufkin facility to 50,000 square feet in 2010. Workers at the plant specialize in electronics fabrication and assembly.

The defense contractor said Friday that the furloughs will affect its business nationwide and it is working closely with customers to assess the impact. It said the number of employees put on furlough will increase weekly if the shutdown continues, but did not specify how high the count could rise.

"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 Hewson, Lockheed's CEO and president, said in a statement. "We hope that Congress and the Administration are able to resolve this situation as soon as possible."

Lockheed says the furloughs include employees who are unable to work because the government facility where they perform their work is closed, as well as those whose work requires a government inspection that cannot be completed or for which the company has received a stop work order.

This announcement comes just days after United Technologies Corp. said that it will furlough 2,000 employees by Monday and more than 5,000 if the shutdown continues into next month. The company, which makes Blackhawk helicopters and other products, says it will halt some manufacturing because government inspectors have been furloughed and they are necessary for federal approval to make military products.

The partial government shutdown took effect Tuesday and has idled roughly 800,000 "non-essential" federal workers.

Lockheed Martin Corp. shares fell 46 cents to $122.37 in afternoon trading Friday. Its shares are still near the higher end of their 52-week range of $85.88 to $131.60.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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