Sikorsky Aircraft, with a large helicopter manufacturing plant in Stratford, announced Feb. 21 a workforce reduction of “approximately 600 employees, mostly in Connecticut” due to “the challenging and unstable economic conditions that continue to affect our industry,” according to the company’s spokesman in Stratford Paul Jackson.
Jackson would not say precisely how many of the 600 layoffs will be from the Stratford facility, however, State Senator Kevin Kelly said a majority of the layoffs will be in Stratford.
This workforce reduction is described as “further restructuring” that follows “significant cost reduction actions that the company has already taken,” Jackson said.
They layoffs will occur over the next several weeks. Jackson said, “These decisions are always difficult to make but necessary to protect the company’s competitiveness and future. As is our practice, we will provide transition assistance for those employees who are affected.”
Connecticut is home to Sikorsky Aircraft’s largest employee population. Currently about 8,200 employees of its total global workforce of 16,500 are in Connecticut.
The reduction affect salaried and hourly positions about equally, Jackson said. Hourly position reductions will be staggered throughout the year.
State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21) said in statement, “I am extremely disappointed that Sikorsky will be eliminating so many jobs here in Connecticut. Hundreds of families will be negatively impacted by this decision, and my heart goes out to these individuals. Our community will suffer greatly from this loss.
“Right now my top concern is to help the displaced workers,” Kelly said. “But we also must look at the bigger issues at play. Connecticut’s economy is suffering and our job market is shrinking. When a layoff of this scale occurs, it becomes clear that Connecticut is in trouble. If our employers cannot prosper, neither can our people,” said Kelly.
In an effort to help the community, Senator Kelly will be sending a letter to Department of Labor Commissioner Glen Marshall expressing his concerns and requesting that the department’s Rapid Response Team be dispatched to educate the workers about training opportunities, job search assistance and unemployment benefits.