United Technologies Corp. (UTX)’s Sikorsky unit plans to cut salaried employees by about 3 percent because of the slower economy and anticipated U.S. Department of Defense budget reductions.
Non-hourly employees at the maker of the Black Hawk helicopter were told of the reduction last week and will be offered a voluntary separation package, spokesman Paul Jackson said in an e-mailed statement. The firings, representing about 540 employees, are in addition to a 3 percent cut of hourly workers announced in September.
Sikorsky, based in Stratford, Connecticut, employs more than 18,000 globally, according to its website.
Companies that make military hardware have seen demand slacken after a decline in defense spending. Boeing Co. (BA) said yesterday it may close an aircraft plant in Wichita, Kansas, that modifies and upgrades refueling tankers and B-52 bombers. A congressional supercommittee’s failure to reach an agreement on spending cuts may usher in a further curb for defense outlays.
Until Sikorsky has results from the voluntary offer, the company won’t know the number of involuntary firings and the effect on locations, Jackson said. For the first nine months of the year, Sikorsky’s sales rose 14 percent to $5.25 billion from $4.6 billion a year ago.
The Wall Street Journal reported the job cuts earlier today.
United Technologies fell 1.4 percent to $73.05 at the close in New York. The shares are down 7.2 percent this year.
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