SEBAC Stands with Pratt & Whitney Workers, Urges Company to Keep 1,000 Jobs in Connecticut

by Matt O'Connor on November 30th

Leaders and members of the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) are speaking out in support of their union brothers and sisters at Pratt & Whitney in negotiations with United Technologies (UTC) over the outsourcing of 1,000 jobs. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) had won a court victory earlier in the year to stop the closure of two engine repair shops in Connecticut, but the union contract expires this Sunday and the company has yet to reach an agreement with union representatives.

“We should never be sending jobs overseas,” said Bill Boucher, president of the Connecticut Police and Fire Union/IAFF-IUPA and a special agent with the Department of Consumer Protection. “Connecticut has already lost over 100,000 jobs due to the failed policies of the Rell Administration. We simply cannot afford to lose more. Not only is it damaging for the families directly impacted by the lost income but also for the businesses that rely on those dollars being spent in the economy and the tax revenue generated for the state.”

Pratt & Whitney is threatening to close their East Hartford and Cheshire plants in negotiations with the Machinists. Union members are fighting for job security and to keep their jobs here in Connecticut. They have made concessions on wages, productivity goals and insurance costs, but the company has refused to concede on job security.

“Manufacturing jobs are critical to Connecticut’s economy,” said Steve Cohen, president of the Congress of Connecticut Community Colleges (4Cs)/SEIU Local 1973 and a Professor of English at Norwalk Community College. “As we educate our future workforce, we need to demonstrate a commitment to creating and keeping good-paying jobs here.”

“Our union members whole-heartedly support the Machinists and their efforts to keep their jobs here in Connecticut,” said Carmen Boudier, president of New England Healthcare Employees Union, District 1199/SEIU. “Our striking nursing home workers at Spectrum Healthcare understand what it is like to have their livelihoods threatened. We stand in solidarity with them and urge UTC to come to the table with solutions for keeping these important jobs in the state and these men and woman working.”

The Connecticut Police and Fire Union, 4Cs, and District 1199 are three of the thirteen unions in the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC), which serves to unite approximately 45,000 Connecticut State Employees to address issues of common concern. To learn more about the coalition’s campaign for a fair budget and a livable state with great public services visit www.InThisTogetherCT.org.

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