STRATFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hours after announcing 1,400 job layoffs worldwide, Sikorsky Aircraft also announced Tuesday that the company’s Bridgeport facility would be closed, with jobs relocating to the main plant in Startford.
According to a press release from Sikorsky, there will be no loss of jobs for the workers currently at the Bridgeport plant. Those employees will be shifted to Stratford as part of the company’s consolidation.
“Unfortunately, the global market for aircraft has prompted a consolidation of facilities,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “Their decision makes smart business sense for them. We’re glad there was no job loss and that Sikorsky will continue to pay taxes on the property it owns in Bridgeport. This also presents a unique opportunity for further growth in our Eco-Technology Park.”
Sikorsky says that due to declines in offshore drilling, closure of rigs and delays in deep sea exploration has prompted a sharp decline in orders to Sikorsky for its commercial helicopters, which are used to transport employees to and from offshore rigs. These commercial and industrial sales account for 45% of sales for United Technologies, the parent company of Sikorsky, according to their release.
“The decision by Sikorsky to close its Bridgeport South End plant, a location that has been a part of their manufacturing plant inventory for many years, and recently employed hundreds of workers, does not come as a surprise,” said Paul Timpanelli, President and CEO of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council. “Sikorsky, a long-time quality employer in our region and specifically in Bridgeport, is in the process of consolidating manufacturing functions around the world to better position the company to compete in an ever-changing global marketplace. Part of that consolidation strategy is to make the company more efficient, lean and productive. These Bridgeport-based jobs will be, for the most part, transferred to the Stratford location, and, therefore not lost to our region. Sikorsky, we are confident, will continue to be a major regional employer and positive regional economic force.”