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Union Official Says P & W Plant Closing Contradictory

Top negotiator for Machinists union says he was told that Pratt & Whitney's repair plant was not targeted for closure, although he saw a company document saying otherwise.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) -- The top negotiator for the Machinists union says he was told in April that jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney's repair plant in Cheshire was not targeted for closure, although he saw a company document saying otherwise.

James Parent, the local union official, said in a federal court hearing on Tuesday that he read a Pratt & Whitney document in April with a timeline for closing the plant.

The Machinists union is suing Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. It accuses the company of violating its union contract by moving 1,000 jobs to Columbus, Ga., Singapore and Japan.

A Pratt vice president testified Monday that he recommended the Cheshire plant be closed in July 2008. But he said Pratt did not approve the shutdown before announcing its decision in September.

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