October 13, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Stratford, CT – Workers at the Sikorsky helicopter factory here voted overwhelmingly Oct. 10 to approve a contract that will keep production in Connecticut but sharply cut wages for future workers. Members of Teamsters Local 1150 voted 2,104-140 to ratify the deal.
The agreement guarantees that Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky’s parent company, will build 200 CH-53K King Stallion helicopters for the U.S. Navy at the Stratford plant over the next 15 years. But it will also slash hourly pay by 25% for workers hired after July 1, 2017. Current employees will get a $1,500 ratification bonus. The deal was part of a plan to keep Sikorsky in Connecticut until at least 2032. Lockheed Martin had said it would have cost $400 million less to build the helicopter in Florida or South Carolina. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said the vote was “important and necessary” and “ensures that Sikorsky—one of the state’s iconic businesses—will remain for years to come in the state they have long called home.” Read more