Washington, D.C., December 01, 2009 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (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 “how we can work together” 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.”
The IAM is among the nation’s largest industrial trade unions, representing nearly 700,000 active and retired members under more than 5,000 contracts in aerospace, transportation, shipbuilding and defense-related industries. For more information, visit www.goiam.org.