UPDATE 1-Lockheed won’t furlough workers if US gov’t shuts

* Company has no plans to close facilities

* CEO cited “difficult new reality”

* Has contingency plans if shutdown occurs
(Adds details, company statement)

WASHINGTON, April 7 (Reuters) – Lockheed Martin Corp
(LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research), the Pentagon’s No. 1 supplier, has no plans to shut
its facilities or furlough workers if the federal government
shuts down, Chief Executive Robert Stevens told employees on
Thursday.

“Our facilities will remain open. We will continue to pay
you. Your benefits will remain in force. We currently have no
plans to furlough anyone,” Stevens told workers in a statement
posted on an employee news website.

He thanked them for their continued dedication “in this
difficult new reality.”

Stevens told employees the impact of a government closure
would vary across the company’s many programs and locations and
that Lockheed officials would continue to closely monitor the
situation.

Stevens said he had been working “vigorously” with other
defense company executives and lawmakers to win passage of a
defense budget for fiscal 2011, which began October 1, and
avert a costly shutdown.

In February, he and 13 other defense executives warned
lawmakers that failure to pass a defense budget would cause
schedule delays and breaks in production that would increase
overall costs and interrupt delivery of critical equipment.
They said it could also affect U.S. employment for many years.

Company spokeswoman Jennifer Whitlow said Lockheed was
working closely with government officials to understand the
potential impact of a shutdown on employees and programs.

“We have contingency plans in place and as details become
available we will share them with our employees and
subcontractors,” she said.

Democratic and Republican congressional leaders held a
series of private meetings and public news conferences on
Thursday to work on a budget deal that will keep the government
operating beyond the midnight Friday deadline.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, and House of
Representatives Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, are due to
meet at the White House on Thursday evening. One Democratic
aide saying they were working on a final compromise that would
keep more than 800,000 government workers in their jobs.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; editing by Andre Grenon)

UPDATE 1-Lockheed won’t furlough workers if US gov’t shuts