Union, Pratt & Whitney Agree On Pact To Close Plants

WALLINGFORD, Connecticut (AP) — Members of the Machinists union have overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney that allows the company to shut two plants it has targeted for more than a year, while preserving jobs insisted on by the union.

Workers voted 2,609-198 Sunday to accept the pact with the subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., ending a battle that began in September 2009 when the company announced it would shut the engine repair plants.

The three-year contract allows the company to close the plants and shift hundreds of jobs to Columbus, Georgia; Singapore, and Japan. Workers will be induced to retire with a $20,000 buyout package and other workers will be transferred to Pratt & Whitney sites elsewhere in Connecticut.