Pratt & Whitney To Layoff Employees Before Contract Negotiations


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Pratt & Whitney To Layoff Employees Before Contract Negotiations

By Jim Douglas

August 27, 2010 - Pratt & Whitney has informed IAM District 26 in Kensington, Connecticut that the company plans to cut 129 hourly jobs at their Overhaul & Repair center in Cheshire, Connecticut. 

These layoffs coincide with Pratt’s original plan for emptying the plant prior to contract negotiations, a plan that was ruled illegal by the District Court and barred by an injunction.

IAM leaders will be conferring with their attorneys as to whether these proposed layoffs represent actions by Pratt in contempt of the court’s decision.

In July 2010, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals had upheld a lawsuit brought by IAM that barred aircraft jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney from closing plants in Cheshire and East Hartford, Connecticut. 


Pratt & Whitney is an American aircraft engine manufacturer of products widely used in both civil and military aircraft. As one of the "big three" aero-engine manufacturers, it competes with General Electric and Rolls-Royce, although it has also formed joint ventures with both of these companies. In addition to aircraft engines, Pratt & Whitney manufactures gas turbines for industrial and power generation, marine turbines, and rocket engines.

The company’s over 38,500 employees support more than 9,000 customers in 180 countries around the world“We are prepared to defend our rights, and our members’ jobs, by whatever means are possible. If that means going back to court, we’ll be there,” said District 26 DBR Everett Corey. “We know that it will definitely mean being ready to fight in the contract negotiations coming up.” 

The IAM questions the planned job cuts, given the current work schedule at the facility. Hourly employees have been working 10 hours a day, instead of the normal eight hour shift, and have been asked to come in on Saturdays and Sundays as well. The union also questions why the Cheshire facility will not consider the use of furloughs rather than the drastic step of permanent layoffs.  Furloughs have been utilized in both the Middletown and East Hartford plants in order to address work downturns without resorting to permanent layoffs. 

“If the company acts reasonably, we can avoid any permanent layoffs at this time. Cheshire workers continue to work hard and deliver record profits,” said District 26 Assistant DBR Jim Parent. “This is no way to reward their remarkable efforts under difficult circumstances.”
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