Thank you for all your comments on my blog during the past week. Despite the widely varying political views expressed, two things are obvious. There is a great deal of frustration regarding our elected officials’ unwillingness to work together productively to end this shutdown, and there is tremendous concern about the impact a lengthy shutdown could have on our businesses, and the families, communities and customers that depend on them. I share your frustrations and concerns.
During this standoff, we’ve witnessed more than 800,000 government employees furloughed. At BAE Systems, Inc., approximately 1,000 I&S employees working at government customer sites have already been excused from work. And many other facilities across our business have begun to experience shutdown-related disruptions to workflow, some minor and others less so. This has left a lot of employees wondering, “Could my job be affected if the government shutdown continues?”
Our company is taking extraordinary steps to minimize the impact to our business and mitigate the effect on employees. We have continued to pay workers unable to access customer sites during the past week and will continue to cover certain benefits coverage for non-union employees and their families for up to 90 days. (Continued benefits for union-represented employees are governed by collective-bargaining agreements.) But these efforts can’t continue forever.
Unfortunately, reports back from our Government Relations staff are not optimistic. Little legislative progress has been made. Funding to reopen federal government operations remains elusive, and the budget battle many of us hoped would end quickly is rapidly shaping up to be less of a sprint and more of a marathon. I wish I could share more specifics about the impact this shutdown will have on our business, but too many question marks remain. The good news is that tomorrow, Oct. 7, the Department of Defense will be bringing back most of its furloughed civilian employees, including DCMA and DCAA workers. But the funding situation remains murky for government contractors and other federal agencies outside of the Pentagon.
I will continue to provide updates as the situation develops. Thank you once again for your patience during these confusing times and for your continued commitment to our customers and unflagging focus on doing the important work we do.
President and CEO
BAE Systems, Inc.