Blumenthal wants company to avoid layoffs

Keith Loria Aug. 30, 2010, 10:16am


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced on Friday that he has sent a letter to Pratt & Whitney, urging the company to come up with alternatives to laying off 129 workers.

In the letter to Pratt & Whitney and its parent company, United Technologies Corp., Blumenthal said that the current collective bargaining agreement covering the Cheshire, Conn., work force is set to expire on Dec. 5, and the company is prohibited from transferring work to out-of-state facilities before that date.

Blumenthal's plan is for Pratt & Whitney to eliminate the layoffs by instituting furloughs, reducing overtime and instituting other cost-savings measures. The company currently has many of its workers working weekends and overtime shifts.

"The loss of many well-paying jobs in this economic climate will badly harm our state economy and devastate families," Blumenthal said.

"I encourage Pratt & Whitney to work with the union to implement alternatives to layoffs - such as furloughs and reductions in overtime - that will preserve jobs while achieving real cost savings."

Blumenthal hopes that the company will meet with the union to work towards a future agreement that will preserve the jobs and ensure efficient plant operations.

"The question remains whether layoffs are presently necessary," Blumenthal said.

"My understanding is that the Cheshire plant work force is currently fully occupied, with employees working approximately 20 percent overtime above their normal hours and working 10-hour days and on weekends. I do not presume to second guess business judgment or projections, but I do know that families and communities will suffer seriously and egregiously if employees are laid off during the harshest employment climate in decades."

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