Pentagon’s recall of civilian workers mitigated shutdown’s effects on federal contractor.
WASHINGTON – Lockheed Martin Corp. Monday reduced furloughs by about 20 percent after the Pentagon said most civilian employees sent home in the partial U.S. government shutdown will be put back to work.
The top federal contractor had planned to furlough 3,000 people. About 2,400 of those employees, most of them tied to nondefense programs, are still unable to work because civilian government sites are closed or the Bethesda, Md.-based company has received an order to stop work from agencies, Lockheed said in a statement.
The Pentagon said on Oct. 5 that 90 percent or more of about 350,000 workers it furloughed last week will be coming back, including inspectors who review contract work. While United Technologies Corp. Sunday canceled plans to furlough as many as 4,000 workers, other top contractors haven’t completely reversed their plans.
“The Department of Defense’s decision will not eliminate the impact of the government shutdown on the company’s employees and the business,” Lockheed said in its statement.
Of the Lockheed employees still being furloughed, only 300 work on military programs.
About 82 percent of Lockheed’s $47.2 billion in sales in 2012 came from the U.S. government — including 61 percent from the Pentagon, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The company does work for a number of federal agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Energy Department, the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Lockheed’s furloughed workers are spread across 27 states, with most of them based in the Washington area, Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the contractor, said in an e-mail.
United Technologies, the government’s sixth-largest contractor, had planned to put 2,000 workers on leave beginning Monday at its Sikorsky Aircraft unit after military inspectors required to monitor production work were put on leave. Another 2,000 workers at the Hartford, Conn.-based company’s Pratt & Whitney and UTC Aerospace Systems had faced furloughs this week.
Robert Hale, undersecretary of defense, said on Saturday that he had no concrete estimate for how many civilian defense employees would remain off the job during the shutdown. Some of those who won’t return include staff in information technology, auditing and public affairs, he said.
“We haven’t solved all the problems,” Hale said. “We still hope Congress will act very quickly to end this shutdown.”
The Aerospace Industries Association, an Arlington, Va.-based trade group, said in a statement last week that companies had voiced concerns that if the shutdown continued, they would be forced to furlough tens of thousands of workers.
A U.S. unit of London-based BAE Systems said last week that it had excused from work about 1,000 employees in its intelligence and security division.
As many as 10 percent to 15 percent of the 34,500 U.S.-based employees of BAE Systems Inc., its U.S. unit, may be affected by the shutdown, the company said last week.
Brian Roehrkasse, a spokesman for the division, didn’t provide comment on whether any of its workers may be reinstated or protected from the government closing after the Pentagon decision.
“Many of those 1,000 workers who were excused by their government agencies” support intelligence agencies, not the Defense Department, Roehrkasse said in an e-mail Sunday.
Boeing, the No. 2 contractor, said last week it may begin “limited furloughs” this week.