Lockheed Martin to furlough 3K workers

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

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.

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