Layoffs Delayed at Pratt & Whitney

Company may appeal judge's decision


The Machinists union says it will fight jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney's possible appeal of a court ruling that stopped the company's plans to move 1,000 jobs out of Connecticut. Union officials said Saturday they are confident they will win any appeal.

Friday night a judge ruled to delay Connecticut layoffs at Pratt & Whitney until at least December 2010.

U.S. District Judge Janet Hall made her ruling based on the union contract that requires "every reasonable effort" to preserve the jobs it wants to move out of state.

[You can read the complete text of Judge Hall's ruling here]

The company's machinists union took Pratt & Whitney to court to keep 1,000 jobs in this state. The division of the East-Hartford based United Technologies Corp. plans to move the jobs to Columbus, Georgia, Singapore and Japan.

The job cuts would come from the closure of an engine overhaul and repair plant in Cheshire by early 2011 and a shift in repair operations from its East Hartford facility beginning in April.

“We have a big job ahead of us now, securing these jobs in the next contract. We’re ready for a fight, if that’s what it takes," Jim Parent, an assistant directing business representative for the union, said in a statement released after the court ruling.

The union and state offered concessions to keep jobs in Connecticut, but the company chose to push ahead with plans and the International Association of Machinists filed suit.

Pratt & Whitney released a statement shortly after the ruling was announced saying that it is "disappointed and disagree with the decision and after reviewing it will consider our options, including an appeal. We believe we upheld our contractual obligations to act in good faith and made every reasonable effort to keep this work in Connecticut."

NBC Connecticut will continue to follow the latest developments in this breaking story on-air and online.

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