UTC: Prolonged Shutdown Would Furlough Thousands Of Aerospace Workers

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The company said Wednesday that if federal inspectors aren’t back in the job by Monday, nearly 2,000 workers would be furloughed. (Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.)

United Technologies Corp. was startlingly specific Wednesday in its warning that a prolonged government shutdown would force it to furlough thousands of aerospace workers.

If lawmakers fail to reach a resolution by Monday, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. will furlough 2,000 workers, the company said. A shutdown that lasts into the next week would cause its parent company, UTC, to send home another 2,000. And if budgetary problems last into next month, the giant defense manufacturer said, furloughs would reach 5,000.

“The inability of Congress and the White House to reach a federal budget agreement and end the government shutdown has severely impacted and in some areas completely stopped Sikorsky’s ability to manufacture and support helicopters used by all branches of the United States military,” Sikorsky said in a statement.

Sikorsky has already slowed production on the Black Hawk helicopter now that federal contracting inspectors have left their posts on furlough because of the government shutdown. And the same federal employees at Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford are also on furlough, delaying the delivery of engines and spare parts, a spokesman said.

Full story by Courant business reporter Brian Dowling on www.courant.com.

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