Oct. 04--Roughly 2,000 Sikorsky employees could be furloughed Monday if a budget agreement is not reached and the government shutdown is not ended before then, the company said Thursday.
Sikorsky, a division of Hartford, Conn.-based defense manufacturer United Technologies Corp., and its sister company Pratt & Whitney employ about 2,000 employees at the northwestern Palm Beach County campus they share. Sikorsky assembles Black Hawk helicopters there, and Pratt & Whitney tests F-35 jet engines.
Sikorsky spokesman Paul Jackson said Thursday that the company is not disclosing a breakdown of potential furloughs by location at this time. It also has workers in Connecticut and Alabama.
United Technologies employs about 218,300. Its 2012 revenue of $57.7 billion included $10 billion from the U.S. government.
United Technologies may furlough a total of more than 5,000 workers if the shutdown continues into November. It will be forced to halt some defense manufacturing because government inspectors themselves have been furloughed. That leaves it without the required federal approvals to make military products.
If the shutdown continues through next week, the furloughs could extend to Pratt & Whitney and UTC Aerospace Systems division, bringing the total number of employees on hold to 4,000. Another 1,000 could be affected if the shutdown stretches into next month.
"The inability of Congress and the White House to reach a federal budget agreement and end the government shutdown has severely impacted and in some areas completely stopped Sikorsky's ability to manufacture and support helicopters used by all branches of the United States military," the company's Thursday statement said.
"The production and delivery of Sikorsky helicopters for the Department of Defense cannot proceed without the help of our valued Defense Contract Management Agency partners who have been furloughed due to the government shutdown," the statement said. "DCMA personnel are a critical and required part of our U.S. Government aircraft and parts inspection, acceptance, and delivery processes."
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