ARCHBALD — Some employees at Lockheed Martin in Lackawanna County were asked not to show up to work Monday, and more of the plant’s 400 employees may be getting the same news if the federal government shutdown continues.
Lockheed Martin officials announced that about 2,400 of its employees would be temporarily laid off nationwide because the government shutdown has stopped many of the military projects that workers are contracted to work on.
The company won’t comment on how many local employees are included in that number but the furloughs are expected to have an effect that reaches beyond the walls of Lockheed Martin.
Lockheed Martin is one of the nation’s biggest private military contractors. At the plant in Archbald, 400 employees work on navigational systems for the U.S. military.
The 400 employees could be included in the more than 2,000 Lockheed Martin employees temporarily laid off while the government shut down continues. The furloughs are expected to cause a ripple effect felt far beyond Lockheed’s doors at places like La Padrinos restaurant on Kennedy Drive in the borough.
“We enjoy the people up at Lockheed. They come here for lunch a lot. So it would be a disappointment, because they do come here and we wouldn’t have them anymore,” said Trish Reahm at La Padrinos.
The employees at La Padrinos were waiting to see if their usually busy Monday lunch hour would take a hit since some Lockheed employees were told not to show up to work this week.
Employees at Quinn’s Cafe Express say their morning coffee customers from the plant still came by but if the shutdown persists they’ll still lose a lot of business.
“We get Lockheed traffic when they’re leaving work, and we also supply fuel for Lockheed vehicles which is consistent through the week,” said Quinn’s manager Joe Motts.
For Motts, the news of the furloughs was even more upsetting because it’s out of his control. The shutdown is now a week old and how long it lasts is still anybody’s guess.
“I think it’s frustrating to see what’s going on and nobody can seem to reach an agreement on this. And it’s going to trickle down to small businesses, and everyone else, and these people not getting paid.”
Officials with Lockheed Martin would not tell us how many of the 400 employees at the Archbald plant have been temporarily laid off or if that number will grow if the shutdown continues. They only issued a statement saying that they are urging Congress and the Obama administration to reach an agreement as soon as possible