Obama Urged to Protect U.S. Jobs at Pratt

The IAM is calling on President Obama to dissuade Pratt & Whitney from moving more than 1,000 aerospace jobs from Connecticut to low-cost locations in Japan, Indonesia and Georgia.

“We are in the midst of a national jobs crisis and there is no excuse for a company that has thrived for years at taxpayer expense to abandon a state on the brink of economic oblivion,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger in a letter delivered today to President Obama. “We urge you to use the power of your office to persuade Pratt & Whitney to act in the national interest, rather than solely their own.”

On September 21, 2009, Pratt & Whitney announced it would close the Cheshire Engine Center and Connecticut Airfoil Repair Operations (CARO), despite more than $180 million in incentives and savings proposed by the state of Connecticut and negotiators for IAM District 26.

“ Connecticut is just the latest state to be spurned by a major corporation using the recession as an excuse to consolidate operations in low-cost locations,” said Buffenbarger. “Unchecked, this trend will continue to strip industrial states of the high-skill, high-paying jobs that are essential to any economic recovery.”

The letter to the president arrived on the eve of a White House Jobs Summit, a forum for government, business, academia and labor to discuss ways to save and create jobs.

“ Connecticut can’t wait for a summit to turn ideas into action,” said Buffenbarger. “It would take years to create the infrastructure and develop the skilled workforce that exists today at Pratt & Whitney in Connecticut. By all means, we should develop opportunities where none exist, but we must also protect our existing economic heritage when it comes under attack.”