80 Connecticut workers laid off from Pratt & WhitneyPosted: Updated:
Pratt & Whitney announced in a statement Wednesday that the company will be laying off 80 workers in Connecticut.
According to a spokesman from Pratt & Whitney, there were 80 unionized, hourly employees, who lost their jobs and 20 workers at the East Hartford and Middletown plants took "voluntary separation packages" or buyouts. All the layoffs are from East Hartford.
Pratt blamed a reduction in work orders, saying two military fighter programs, the F-119 and F-22, are coming to an end and commercial work has also been reduced. There are fewer orders for new planes and repair work.
"Pratt & Whitney provided voluntary separation offers as described under the collective bargaining agreement with the International Association of Machinists to minimize the impact of this reduction," the statement said.
Layoffs are expected to begin taking place in early December.
It's the second wave of layoffs in Connecticut in 2012 with 200 workers being let go in May.
However, Pratt is shrinking its Connecticut plants, its Florida facility is growing with the company adding 230 new jobs in West Palm Beach. Pratt said none of those in Connecticut were offered to relocate.
The layoffs at Pratt are also affecting other aerospace parts manufacturers including Pegasus Manufacturing. However, after seeing reductions in work orders, they have sought out a global market.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is somewhat optimistic now that congress has just passed the National Defense Authorization Act.
"I am hopeful that workers displaced from these engine programs will be used for the F-135," he told Eyewitness News.
Eyewitness News reached out several times to the machinists union, so far they are not commenting on these latest layoffs.
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