According to Reuters, United Technologies Corp’s Sikorsky helicopter unit will be facing 540 employee layoffs, a targeted 3 percent of the staff. The move comes in response to tough economic conditions and an overall decreased product demand from the United States military. As the world’s leading helicopter manufacturer, defense contracts account for a significant portion of Sikorsky’s business. Unfortunately, the U.S. military has begun tightening its belt in an attempt to curb spiraling costs. Last month, members of congress agreed to cut $350 billion in national security spending over the next decade.
In an email addressing the situation, Sikorsky spokesperson Paul Jackson noted that the company would attempt to moderate their growth in line with the demands of the U.S. and international markets. In order to remain competitive and serve their commercial and military customers to the best of their ability, Sikorsky would have to accept the lower work volumes and make some internal changes.
The company began notifying employees last week concerning the changes. Sikorsky has offered buyouts to unionized workers displaced by the event.
Known for their commercial and military grade Black Hawk helicopters, Sikorsky serves the U.S. military and provides Black hawk helicopter variants to 25 governments worldwide, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and the U.S.