Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sikorsky lays off 200 workers

STRATFORD -- Sikorsky Aircraft announced plans Thursday to reduce its hourly workforce by 200 people, mostly from Connecticut, the second such cut of that scale by the Stratford-based company that is battling business headwinds that include a global cutback in government spending.

Sikorsky, a unit of United Technologies in Hartford, has a global workforce of about 18,000 people, more than 8,400 of whom work in Connecticut.

"Sikorsky continues to look to a promising future, but today we face difficult challenges," spokesman Paul Jackson said in an email Thursday, echoing a very similar statement released after the previous layoffs were announced in June.

Those challenges include "U.S. and international budget declines, rising costs to compete and heightened uncertainty due to sequestration," Jackson said.

"We must do all we can to protect our competitiveness while investing in our future," Jackson continued about the "difficult but necessary step." "To help offset any involuntary employment actions that would otherwise be required, we are extending a voluntary separation offer to eligible Teamster represented employees in Connecticut, in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement, and we will work very closely with all the impacted employees to ease the transition," Jackson continued.

Representatives from Teamsters Union Local 1150 were not immediately available to comment Thursday.

Jackson said it was impossible to say whether the cuts would impact one department more than another until receiving the results of the voluntary separation offer.