The U.S. government shutdown will force a leading Connecticut employer to furlough thousands of its workers.
Sikorsky, based in Stratford, said Wednesday they will furlough roughly 2,000 employees Monday Oct. 7 if the government shutdown continues.
If the shutdown continues into the middle of next week, they will be forced to furlough another 1,000 employees.
The aircraft maker manufactures and supports helicopters used by all branches of the military.
The company is facing furloughs because federal employees who inspect and deliver the aircrafts have been furloughed, that then
has a ripple effect on Sikorsky. Many are now speaking out about what those possible furloughs would mean for the area.
“I think without question it can impact my business and everyone,” said Michael Savoie, owner of Stella’s restaurant in Stratford.
“I see employees all day long literally, between delivering there for lunch and a lot of takeout
for dinner so yeah they are a major part of our community.”
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said Sikorsky is the largest employer in the region. It is based in Stratford but has other facilities
across the country including nearby Bridgeport.
“This is a firm whose company rescues firefighters from fires and people stranded on mountain tops,” said Mayor Finch. “This is a company
that helps people, keep us free and safe.”
In a statement Gov. Malloy said:
“This is what happens when House Republicans decide that political gamesmanship is more important than people’s jobs. 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.”
United Technologies Corporation is the parent company of Sikorsky and is also the parent company of Pratt & Whitney and Aerospace Systems.
UTC said in a press release, “If the shutdown continues through next week, UTC’s Pratt & Whitney and UTC Aerospace Systems units would also be affected, and company-wide 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.”