Legislators frustrated with Sikorsky layoffs

State lawmakers representing Stratford and Shelton voiced concern on Wednesday to news that 109 employees at Sikorsky Aircraft will be laid off.

Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky’s parent company, announced Tuesday that it plans to let go of 150 employees from Sikorsky’s rotary and mission systems line of business. One hundred and nine of those jobs are in Connecticut.

Sen. Kevin Kelly, R-21, said he was “devastated” to hear about “yet another round of layoffs hitting the greater Stratford area.”

The Sikorsky layoffs come on the heels of nearly 600 layoffs in the Stratford and Shelton Optimum/Cablevision offices and the loss of 85 Sikorsky jobs that handled the repairs of Marine One helicopters, Kelly said.

“We need to help these families with immediate support and we also need to talk about long term solutions to put a stop to the endless cycle of jobs leaving our state. Now more than ever Connecticut needs to focus on creating an environment that welcomes new jobs, economic growth and opportunity,” Kelly said.

Rep. Laura Hoydick, R-122, said the layoffs will really hurt.

"The news of these latest layoffs at Sikorsky is yet another devastating blow to our region and the employees,” Hoydick said. “The implications of what this means for manufacturing and job growth in our region are very sobering.  We are losing the kinds of essential jobs that have defined the character of our region for generations. We won’t restore Connecticut to the economic strength it once enjoyed unless we make some serious changes on the policy front, and quickly.”

Rep. Ben McGorty said the entire region suffers when a strong employer like Sikorsky has to shed jobs.

“This sort of bad news is coming in quick succession and with no changes in state economic policy, there is no reason to think it will get better anytime soon,” McGorty said “The state’s policies have done a disservice to Sikorsky and its hard-working employees.  

Rep. Joe Gresko, D-121, said the state needs to make sure those affected by the layoffs get access to all available resources the state has to offer.

“I’m sure the Department of Labor will rise to the occasion and give all the help there is,” Gresko said.

Rep. Jason Perillo, R-113, said the news shows that the state is headed in the wrong economic direction.

“Our primary concern is the workers and their families, and making sure we do what we can to get them through this tough time.  Ultimately, if we don’t do what is needed to make this state more habitable for great regional employers like Sikorsky, we haven’t heard the last of these dreadful stories,” he said.