Appeals Court Will Not Let Pratt & Whitney Ship Jobs Out Of Country


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Appeals Court Will Not Let Pratt & Whitney Ship Jobs Out Of Country

By Daniel Baxter

July 12, 2010 - The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lawsuit brought by IAM District 26 against United Technologies Corporation (UTC), parent company of Pratt & Whitney. The court upheld a U.S. District Court’s injunction that barred aircraft jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney  from closing plants in Cheshire and East Hartford, CT.

The unanimous 23-page decision from the three-judge appeals panel states, in part: “The district court concluded that Pratt had not made, and was not making, ‘every reasonable effort’ to preserve bargaining unit work as required by the CBA [collective bargaining agreement].

"We find no error… in the district court’s determination that Pratt failed to pursue the goal of preserving bargaining unit work in good faith. We therefore affirm the judgment.”


“This once again confirms what we’ve said all along – Pratt didn’t give us a chance to address their concerns to keep the work here,” says IAM chief UTC negotiator Jim Parent. “It’s more than 1,000 hourly and salary jobs – that’s 1,000 workers who deserve a fair chance to keep their livelihoods, and a thousand families who depend on those wage earners.”

“This court decision brings home the fact that UTC and Pratt leadership need to reconsider their plans,” says IAM District 26 DBR Everett Corey. “They need to work with us, not against us, to keep Cheshire & CARO open.  We’re prepared to reach agreement – or fight it out – in contract negotiations. The ball’s in the company’s court right now.”

IAM attorney Gregg Adler, assisted by Mary Kelly, argued the case. Kelly is the daughter of former GLR Paul Kelly who passed away in 2001. The injunction will remain in effect until the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement December 5, 2010.

On February 5, 2010, U.S. District Court, Judge Janet Hall in an 85-page decision issued a permanent injunction on the company's restructuring plan during the term of International Association of Machinists collective bargaining agreement, which will expires on Dec. 10, 2010. Since last July, Pratt and United Technologies (UTC) have repeatedly rejected requests from federal, state and community leaders to consider ways to work with their employees, the Machinists union and the state government to keep open profitable work centers in Cheshire and East Hartford.


“Pratt & Whitney is adding insult to injury by filing an appeal of the court decision castigating them for failing to make an effort to preserve work in Connecticut. The appeal comes a day after the company announced layoffs in the locations they were barred by court order from closing. Our country is facing the most severe economic crisis in our lifetime,” said, District 26 Directing Business Representative Everett Corey.

“UTC’s response to their court defeat is not just a slap in the face to workers, it’s an insult to the taxpayers of this country, who pay this corporation millions of dollars every year.  They’re no different than Goldman Sachs – stuffing their private bank accounts while sneering at the people who make them rich.  It’s disgusting.”

In March Pratt & Whitney went into court to request the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in Hartford, Connecticut to act quickly on an appeal before the court on a lower court decision that prevents the jet engine maker from moving over 1,000 job's out of the state and country. Pratt & Whitney indicated they needed a decision before their machinists contract expires December 5, 2010.

Back in March Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, in a brief filed with the lower court, U.S. District Court, said that Pratt & Whitney had failed to demonstrate that the transfer of 1,000 Connecticut jobs out of state and overseas would result in any savings during the term of its union contract. Blumenthal said the company also proved through its own case at trial that it violated its collective bargaining agreement and failed to consider reasonable offers by the union and state to avoid devastating job cuts.

"Pratt disingenuously demanded concessions that it knew to be impossible, callously violating its legal agreement with workers to make every reasonable effort to preserve work, even when the concession cost savings outweighed the expense of transferring jobs.

“Despite its determination to betray its contract with workers, Pratt performed a gross charade of negotiations with the state and union. The company's own executives essentially admitted their own sham, testifying that Pratt had no intention of accepting the concessions it dubiously demanded. The court cannot in good conscience allow Pratt to violate its legal and moral obligations -- devastating families, and damaging the entire state economy."


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