Sikorsky helicopters is a division of United Technologies Corp. and the company just announced they were cutting 600 jobs in the United States just as they signed a deal with Turkey worth $3.5 billion. Can anyone say “outsourcing”?
In a related report by The Inquisitr, January of 2014 was a bad month for helicopter crashes. An Army nightstalker helicopter crash killed one person and injured others. Another helicopter crash in England killed everyone on board.
Americans working to make Sikorsky helicopters are about to experience a different type of crash of their own. The news about the Turkey deal also revealed that the new 109 Sikorsky helicopters will be assembled in by Turkish workers and even many of the components for the Black Hawk will be fabricated locally. They’re also designing a new version of the cockpit which will be unique to the Turkish version of the Sikorsky helicopters. This Turkish workforce will also be responsible for marketing these new helicopters in other markets.
Company spokesman Paul Jackson explained why United Technologies was cutting their jobs just as the Turkey deal came through:
“Today, we notified employees that the company will undertake further restructuring amid the challenging and unstable economic conditions that continue to affect our industry. These decisions are always difficult to make, but necessary to protect the company’s competitiveness and future. As is our practice, we will provide transition assistance for those employees who are affected.”
Sikorsky helicopters are produced by about 16,500 employees spread all over the world. But around half of these people are located in Connecticut. State senator Kevin Kelly says he’s “extremely disappointed” that the American workforce is being reduced and he claims the “community will suffer greatly from the loss.”
This also isn’t the first time American workers have been let go. Sikorsky helicopters claimed slowing sales was the reason 200 workers were let go in 2013, but the Sikorsky Aircraft workers union also managed to get a 2.5 percent salary increase in December, which is the equivalent of over 400 workers’ pay. The news about the layoffs also came at the same time that Sikorsky Helicopters won a $110 million contract with the Naval Air Systems Command to provide maintenance for training aircraft.