None of the approximately 6,200 employees at the Marietta plant will be furloughed immediately, although “the number of employees affected is expected to increase weekly in the event of a prolonged shutdown.”
Lockheed spokesman Johnny Whitaker said the company is continuing to review which individual programs will be affected.
“This is an ongoing situation and it’s premature to say where the immediate effects are right now,” Whitaker said.
Local labor union president Perry Gulledge said there is concern about area hourly and salaried workers facing temporary layoffs. The International Association of Machinists Local Lodge 709 only represents local Lockheed Martin employees.
“I think the uncertainty is the major issue,” Gulledge said. “(The employees) don’t know how long the kindergarten Congress is going to sit there and do nothing.”
Efforts to cut the workforce at the Marietta plant would start with volunteers who are willing to take unpaid leave, in exchange for keeping their benefits and being eligible for unemployment payments, Gulledge said.
The first positions affected by the layoff include employees who work in government facilities that have been shut down.
“Or their work requires a government inspection that cannot be completed, or we’ve received a stop work order,” the announcement from Lockheed on Friday said.
The majority of Lockheed Martin’s business, headquartered out of Bethesda, Md., is with the U.S. Department of Defense and federal government agencies. The company’s site in Marietta assembles the C-130 Hercules transport and the F-22 Raptor air dominance fighter.
“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,” said Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin’s chief executive officer and president. “We hope that Congress and the administration are able to resolve this situation as soon as possible.”