CT Offers $100m To Keep 1,000 Pratt & Whitney Jobs
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell offered $100 million worth of incentives Thursday to jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney to prevent the possible loss of about 1,000 jobs.
The five-year plan includes lifting a cap on tax credits for parent corporation United Technologies Corp., providing training assistance, and establishing a job retention tax credit. It also includes investments in machinery and equipment and the building of an Engineering Center for Excellence for engineers at Pratt & Whitney and other aerospace companies.
The state joins the International Association of Machinists, which represents 3,700 workers and has been meeting with Pratt & Whitney for weeks, in an attempt to save the jobs.
"Any proposal that the state puts on the table for assistance, in conjunction with the union or for the Engineering Center for Excellence, is contingent on job retention and in some cases job creation," Rell said in an interview. "This is a partnership. It would augment the union negotiations. They are stepping up to the plate."
Pratt & Whitney has been hurt by the steep decline in the commercial airline industry. It said it may close its Cheshire engine repair plant and move some work from its East Hartford operation. Jobs could be shifted to plants in Columbus, Ga., Singapore and Japan.
Rell, a Republican, outlined the proposal Thursday in a conversation with United Technologies CEO Louis Chenevert. Pratt & Whitney would not comment on the plan's specifics.
"When we receive the full proposal, we will give it our full consideration," the company said in a statement.
The Machinists offered $63 million in annual cost cuts, including reduced overtime, to help save jobs, The Hartford Courant has reported.
An official of the union local did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The union has been meeting with Pratt & Whitney to review costs of operating the Connecticut plants. Pratt & Whitney, which is required by its contract with the Machinists to discuss the matter in detail, is expected to make a decision next week.
United Technologies has said it needs to eliminate 11,600 jobs, or 5 percent of its global work force, this year to cut costs. The company employs about 26,000 workers in Connecticut, with 11,000 of those workers at Pratt & Whitney.