January 15, 2013

Pratt pink-slips 200 white-collar CT workers

Contributed photo
Contributed photo
Pratt & Whitney Co. Tuesday announced 200 Connecticut white-collar employees are among 350 laid off.

East Hartford aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney says it is laying off 200 salaried employees in Connecticut as part of a company-wide reduction of 350 positions.

According to a company statement Tuesday, the nonunion workers are being eliminated as Pratt seeks to manage its cost structure and assess its staffing levels to be in line with current business and economic conditions.

Pratt is a subsidiary of Hartford conglomerate United Technologies Corp.

The latest cuts come just days after Pratt announced last Thursday promotion of its top aeroengineer Paul R. Adams to the newly created post of chief operating officer.

Quinnipiac University School of Business management professor David Cadden says Pratt and its workers are impacted by an unfortunate reality.

"Pratt & Whitney is experiencing what is an all too familiar phenomenon in the aerospace industry -- cyclical sales," Cadden said in a statement Tuesday about the layoffs. "Products go through their life cycles of demand; rising and falling as the technology becomes dated. Several engines are no longer in great demand and Pratt & Whitney has chosen to limit costs by reducing both hourly and salary employees."

In December, Pratt eliminated 80 hourly positions in production as it completed its F119 engine program for the F-22 Raptor fighter jet. The positions eliminated on Tuesday are salaried employees that include engineers and other white-collar employees.

The employee restructuring comes as Pratt also sold off its power systems unit, divesting its industrial gas turbine segment to Japan-based Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

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