Blumenthal again weighs in on layoff issue

John O'Brien Jan. 20, 2010, 11:10am


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal filed a post-trial brief with a federal court Friday, continuing to argue that a company should not be allowed to transfer 1,000 jobs out of his state.

Blumenthal filed the brief in District Lodge 26 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers' lawsuit against aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, which plans to move the jobs to Columbus, Ga., Japan and Singapore. He had already filed one amicus brief in the case.

Blumenthal argues that Pratt & Whitney's actions violated an employment agreement and wants a federal judge to enjoin the company from going forth with its plan. A bench trial was held Jan. 12-13.

"Pratt was contractually obligated to undertake every reasonable effort to preserve these Connecticut jobs," the brief says. "The State and the Union have asserted throughout this matter - and the evidence has now conclusively shown - that Pratt failed in this duty.

"Pratt should not be permitted to eliminate jobs, causing harm to Connecticut's economy and profound financial distress to hundreds of families, in violation of its binding contractual promises to its workers."

Blumenthal said the well-being of his state and its citizens would be harmed if Pratt & Whitney is allowed to lay off the employees.

He has fought against other companies that planned to lay off state employees, including AT&T, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas.

"Pratt disingenuously demanded concessions that it knew to be impossible, callously violating its legal agreement with workers to make every reasonable effort to preserve work, even when the concession cost savings outweighed the expense of transferring jobs," Blumenthal said.

The trial was held before U.S. District Judge Janet Hall.

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