Sikorsky to eliminate 1,400 positions worldwide, 180 in Connecticut

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Stills and video.Sikorsky is eliminating 386 jobs in the factories in Connecticut, and the targeted workers past age 55 meet to hea

STRATFORD – Sikorsky Aircraft plans to eliminate 1,400 positions worldwide due to decreased demand for both its commercial and military products.

A statement released by the company said decreased oil prices have cut capital investment by oil companies in offshore exploration. Sikorsky is a major supplier of helicopters for those companies. In addition, the company said a “softness” in demand for certain military products has continued.

The company said the positions eliminated are a combination of employees and contract workers in production related positions. The layoffs will be at facilities in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Poland. The reductions would take place over the next twelve months and start immediately.

The company told Fox CT that 180 employees in Connecticut would be laid off. In all, Sikorsky employs 18,000 people worldwide, and 8,000 in Connecticut.

The company also announced that there would be a consolidation of production facilities including leaving its facility in Bridgeport and relocating those workers to Stratford. The company said none of the layoffs were due to that consolidation.

“Unfortunately, the global market for aircraft has prompted a consolidation of facilities,” said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch. “Their decision makes smart business sense for them. We’re glad there was no job loss and that Sikorsky will continue to pay taxes on the property it owns in Bridgeport. This also presents a unique opportunity for further growth in our Eco-Technology Park.”

Paul Timpinelli, the president and CEO of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, also commented on the move.

“The decision by Sikorsky to close its Bridgeport South End plant, a location that has been a part of their manufacturing  plant inventory for many years, and recently employed hundreds of workers, does not come as a surprise,” Timpanelli said.  “The good news here is that the South End Sikorsky plant will provide Bridgeport with much needed inventory of clean, usable manufacturing space located within Bridgeport’s increasingly desirable Eco-Technology Park.”

The company has been in Stratford since it’s founder, Igor Sikorsky, bought land there in 1929. It builds helicopters, including the Black Hawk and Sea Hawk, for all five United States military branches and 40 other countries.