Sikorsky Aircraft announces massive layoffs at Florida facility

JUPITER, Fla. (WTNH) - Stratford-based Sikorsky Aircraft announced Tuesday that they will be closing their Florida Assembly and Flight Operations (FAFO) facility in Jupiter, Florida; and that hundreds of employees will be laid off.

According to a statement from Sikorsky parent company Lockheed Martin, the decision was made to shutter this facility due to lower demand for aircraft from the U.S. Government.

“Sikorsky informed employees today of a decision to consolidate operations to adjust to lower US Government aircraft demand, eliminate the resulting excess capacity, and protect our ability to compete by reducing cost. As a result, we will not renew the lease for the Florida Assembly and Flight Operations (FAFO) property in West Palm Beach and will vacate the building by year-end. We will continue to operate the Development Flight Center on the same campus.  Additionally, approximately 150 salaried employee layoffs will occur throughout the company by year-end as a voluntary separation package offered to salaried employees in June did not yield the expected number of applicants. These two actions combined will impact 5% of the Sikorsky workforce. These decisions are always very difficult but necessary to ensure we can deliver affordable products for our customers to complete their missions.”

In a memo obtained by News 8, Sikorsky President Dan Schultz told employees that approximately 500 employees would be impacted. He also encouraged impacted workers to apply for positions at Sikorsky facilities in Maryland and Texas.

The union representing the employees of this facility, Teamsters Local 1150, issued the following statement following the announcement Tuesday morning.

“The Union is analyzing today's announcement made by the Company to consolidate the FAFO facility. We will be considering all legal and political avenues to achieve the best results for all of our members. We have scheduled a Special-Call Membership Meeting for August 11, 2018 at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott located at 4000 RCA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida to hear from everyone and bring members up to speed on our efforts. The meeting will begin promptly at 9:00am.”

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