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Lockheed Martin prepare to lay off workers

Keywords: Tags  Lockheed Martin, layoffs, government shutdown, aerospace, Marillyn A. Hewson, United Technologies, Defense Contract Management Agency, titanium RTI International

LOS ANGELES — Lockheed Martin Corp. was preparing to lay off about 3,000 employees Oct. 7 "as a result of the government shutdown," although developments over the weekend at another big aerospace manufacturer indicates the industry may be tempering its initial cutback plans.

The Bethesda, Md.-based aerospace and defense company said Oct. 4 that the number of affected employees will "increase weekly in the event of a prolonged shutdown," including those who are unable to work because the government facility where they work is closed, as well as those whose work requires a government inspection that cannot be completed.

Lockheed Martin did not disclose which of its programs would be affected by the furloughs.

"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," Lockheed Martin president and chief executive officer Marillyn A. Hewson said in a statement.

However, Hartford, Conn.-based United Technologies Corp. canceled plans to furlough 2,000 employees at its Stratford, Conn.-based Sikorsky Aircraft division this week after the Defense Contract Management Agency recalled inspectors who are responsible for auditing and approving operations throughout the manufacturing process for military products.

A spokesman for Pittsburgh-based RTI International Metals Inc., the main supplier of titanium mill products for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, said Oct. 4 that defense represented less than 20 percent of RTI’s business. "We don’t expect to see (the shutdown) have any near-term impact," he told AMM, although the company will "continue to monitor the situation."

Los Angeles-based service center chain Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. also expected no short-term effects from the shutdown. Chairman and chief executive officer David Hannah told AMM Oct. 4 that he did not hear "from any of our people" about the shutdown affecting the company’s business.

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