Sikorsky Aircraft has told its employees it is trimming 3 percent of its workforce as it anticipates budget reductions from the U.S. Department of Defense, according to a company spokesman.
The Stratford-based aircraft company notified its employees last Friday, Sikorsky spokesman Paul Jackson told Patch via email.
The layoffs are the second round in just two months, as the company had it would be reducing its workforce by 3 percent. The total number of layoffs during the first around amounted to 567, with 419 in Connecticut.
The latest round of layoffs is expected to amount to 500 employees, according to the Connecticut Post. Jackson said the previous reduction involved the hourly workforce, while this latest round of layoffs will affect salaried employees.
"However, to mitigate the impact, the company is offering all eligible salaried and non-represented hourly employees a voluntary separation package," Jackson said. The Post reported that the severence package will be available to workers that are 55 and older and have been with the company for at least 10 years.
Certain employees, including executives, however, are not eligible.
'We will not know the extent of any necessary involuntary separations or the impact on specific locations," Jackson said.
Sikorsky employs 18,142 globally, 15,767 nationally and 9,176 in the state of Connecticut.
Sikorsky is coming off of a period of rapid growth, Jackson said, as sales have doubled over the last five years. He added that toal employement has also increased 56 percent.
As a "long-lead business" -- meaning years pass between competing for a contract and starting production -- Jackson said, "We need to adjust our cost structure ahead of forecasted changes in our business environment."
"We are hoping the voluntary separation offer will significantly soften the impact," he said.
In a statement to the press, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3, said she was again "disappointed" by the most recent layoff announcement.
"The company maintains that these cuts are critical to ensuring they remain competitive and part of their long-term plan," DeLauro said. "I was just at the Sikorsky plant last month with Norway’s ambassador to help foster future sales for the company.
"I believe that we need the company to continue growing over the long-term to ensure that Connecticut remains a place for good, highly skilled middle class jobs in Connecticut. I will continue working with the company to keep jobs in the state, and to determine the best way forward."
Were you laid off in September? Do you know someone who might be affected by this most recent round of layoffs? Tell us in the comments below.