Sikorsky facing furloughs

Published 11:21 pm Thursday, October 3, 2013

Employees at Sikorsky Troy Operations could be furloughed as early as Monday if the U.S. government shutdown continues.

United Technologies Corp., of which Sikorsky is a division, expects to furlough about 2,000 employees – including those in Connecticut, Florida and Troy.

According to a statement on the UTC website, Sikorsky facilities will be “impacted immediately” because of “the absence of Defense Contract Management Agency inspectors who audit and approve operations throughout the manufacturing process for military products.”

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DCMA inspectors were deemed non-essential federal employees during the government shutdown process. Essentially, that means certain defense manufacturing work must stop, resulting in furloughs, the company explained.

Local Sikorsky officials could not be reached for comment Thursday as to how many local workers might be affected.

United Technologies employs about 218,300 people. Sikorsky Troy Operations has reported more than 650 employees.

United Technologies’ stock fell $2.40 to close at $104.98 Wednesday. And other defense companies that rely on government contracts for revenue fell, as well. Lockheed Martin, which also has a facility in Pike County, saw a stock drop of $2.25 to $122.80 with a total drop of 5.4 percent in the last five trading days.

As of Thursday afternoon, Lockheed Martin had not announced plans to furlough workers, however, the company was keeping a close eye on word of progress regarding the shutdown.

“We are currently in discussions with our customers to assess how the government shutdown will impact our specific programs,” said Lockheed Vice President of Worldwide Media Relations Gordon Johndroe in a statement to The Messenger Thursday.

“Any effect on our operations, workforce and subcontractors during the government shutdown depends on individual contract terms and of course, the length of the shutdown.”

Lockheed Martin employs about 300 people at the 3,863-acre Pike County facility who support military programs such as air-to-ground missile systems, Javelin, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile and the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile.