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Lockheed Martin, Boeing Announce Furloughs Due To Government Shutdown

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) announced Friday that the government shutdown has forced it to furlough 3,000 workers from across its business units. The company said it has already identified employees to be sent on temporary unpaid leave, effective from Monday.

Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin added that the number of employees on furlough could increase on a weekly basis if the government shutdown is prolonged.

"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," President and CEO Marillyn Hewson said in a statement.

The affected employees also include those who are unable to work at government facilities as they remain closed during the shutdown. It will also include employees working on projects that require government inspection for the work to go ahead, or at projects that have received stop work order.

"In an effort to minimize the impact on our employees, we are directing affected employees to use available vacation time so they can continue to receive their pay and benefits. We hope that Congress and the Administration are able to resolve this situation as soon as possible," Hewson added.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for aerospace and defense giant Boeing Co. (BA) revealed Friday that it could furlough some employees next week at its defense and space operations if the shutdown continues. She added that the furloughs are not expected to currently impact its commercial airplanes business.

United Technologies Corp. (UTX), parent company of jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, Otis elevator, and Sikorsky aircraft, also had announced Wednesday that it will furlough 2,000 employees at its aerospace businesses by Monday. It added that the furloughs could double to 4,000 next week and also exceed 5,000 if the government shutdown continues into November.

The furloughs at United Technologies is due to the absence of Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) inspectors who audit and approve operations throughout the manufacturing process for military products.

LMT closed Friday's regular trading session at $122.50, down $0.33 on a volume of 2.49 million shares.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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