Written by Ronald DeRosa United Technologies Corp. announced it is being forced to furlough "thousands of workers" at three plants — including Stratford-based Sikorsky — as a result of the U.S. government shutdown and the lack of federally-paid defense inspectors.
UTC, which is based in Hartford, said if the government shutdown remains in effect by Monday, Oct. 7, then 2,000 workers at Sikorsky facilities in Stratford, Florida and Alabama will all be furloughed from their work duties, the company announced in a statement on its website.
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, the company said.
"This number could exceed 5,000 employees if the government shutdown continues into next month," UTC said.
The aerospace company said it is being forced to do this due to the absence of Defense Contract Management Agency inspectors who normally "audit and approve operations throughout the manufacturing process for military products."
"Without the required DCMA inspectors, who were deemed non-essential federal employees, certain defense manufacturing work must be halted, which will result in employee furloughs," UTC said.
Gov. Dannel Malloy released this statement after the news broke about the furloughs:
“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.”