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Connecticut-Based Sikorsky Plans 2,000 Layoffs Due To Government Shutdown

A Blackhawk helicopter flies a low-level mission over Iraq in January 2004. Blackhawk helicopters are assembled in Stratford, Conn.
A Blackhawk helicopter flies a low-level mission over Iraq in January 2004. Blackhawk helicopters are assembled in Stratford, Conn. Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Suzanne M. Jenkins, U.S. Air Force

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Nearly 2,000 workers at Fairfield County-based Sikorsky Aircraft could be placed on furlough as soon as Monday because of the government shutdown, the company announced in a statement.

"If the U.S. government shutdown continues, United Technologies Corp. aerospace businesses will be forced to furlough thousands of workers due to the absence of Defense Contract Management Agency inspectors who audit and approve operations throughout the manufacturing process for military products," the company said in the statement.

"Without the required DCMA inspectors, who were deemed non-essential federal employees, certain defense manufacturing work must be halted, which will result in employee furloughs."

Stratford-based Sikorsky Aircraft, a part of Hartford-based United Technologies Corp., would be impacted immediately, with nearly 2,000 Sikorsky workers expected to be placed on furlough Monday, Oct. 7. This includes employees at Sikorsky facilities in Stratford; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Troy, Ala.

Sikorsky makes the Black Hawk helicopters used by the U.S. military.

If the shutdown continues through next week, UTC's Pratt & Whitney and UTC Aerospace Systems units would also be affected, and companywide furloughs are expected to double to include 4,000 workers. This number could exceed 5,000 employees if the government shutdown continues into next month. United Technologies provides high-technology products and services to the building and aerospace industries.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy blasted the government shutdown caused by a budget debate and an attempt to stop the Affordable Care Act.

“This is what happens when House Republicans decide that political gamesmanship is more important than people’s jobs," Malloy said in a statement. "It’s unconscionable that so many working families would be unfairly put in this situation. The people of Connecticut, and of the entire United States, deserve better.

"Once again, I call on House Republicans to stop this irresponsible behavior and pass a clean continuing resolution that funds the government, keeps people at work, and doesn’t threaten to undo the important progress that’s been made toward economic recovery.”