Jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney has laid off 350 employees, most of them in Connecticut. The company blamed the losses on the faltering economy, and belt-tightening in the airline industry.
The East Hartford based company says the cut represents around one percent of its total workforce. The job losses, 280 of them in the state, fall on salaried employees across all business units. Hourly workers were not targeted. Pratt & Whitney spokeswoman Jennifer Whitlow says the move is designed to ensure the company remains competitive in a tough economic environment – and she says it was a last resort.
“This summer we offered an early retirement package for our employees across the US. We’ve really limited our hiring to only critical positions, and we’ve made significant contract and temporary labor cuts as well, before we’ve come to the point where we do need to make involuntary reductions in our employment base. We will continue to monitor the economy, we’ll continue to monitor its effect on our business and take actions as required.”
Pratt & Whitney is a subsidiary of Hartford based United Technologies. Its sister company Hamilton Sundstrand is also cutting posts – the Windsor Locks aerospace systems maker laid off eleven workers and says it aims to eliminate 50 more positions by early retirement.