Sikorsky deal passes Senate and House on Wednesday

(WFSB)

Lockheed Martin announced on Tuesday it is laying off 150 employees from Sikorsky, which is located in Stratford.

On Tuesday, Lockheed Martin said the employees are being cut as a result of a reduction in force.

"Although difficult, this action is necessary to ensure we remain competitive in the marketplace, secure future business opportunities, and keep our infrastructure appropriately aligned with customer demands," said a company spokesperson.

He said 109 of those employees are in Connecticut, where they have their largest employee base with about 8,000 employees.

State Sen. Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) said he was "devastated" to hear about the layoffs.

"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 in a statement on Tuesday.

The layoffs come after 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."

“When the public first learned about Lockheed Martin’s 350 layoffs, although we did not know exactly where they would be, I think we all feared they could hit Connecticut and the Stratford community. On July 18, the entire Stratford legislative delegation together wrote to the Department of Labor asking that they place Connecticut’s Rapid Response Team on standby should Lockheed Martin order layoffs in Connecticut. I hope that all resources are now ready to help our community at this time and I plan to follow up with the Department of Labor to make sure the state is doing everything possible to help these workers access the support, training and opportunities they need to secure new jobs,” Kelly said.

Business owners said the news of layoffs is causing issues for them.

"I was not happy," Kingston Kafe owner Cindy Mitchell said.

Mitchell said her heart breaks for the workers, who lost their jobs, said the layoffs will also hurt Stratford's small businesses.

"It's never good to hear. And it does," Mitchell said. "It will affect us if it continues to go south."

Mitchell said she has a huge customer base for Sikorsky.

"I'm telling you they all love it," Mitchell said. "We do deliveries here like twice a week."

Sikorsky employee Charles Watson said Tuesday was difficult.

"It came out of no where I didn't see it coming someone who works close to me was let go," Watson said. "I looked up and one minute she was there and the next minute she was gone."

The company laid off workers last year too. Watson said he hopes the trend stops soon for his sake and Stratford's.

"Without Sikorky's this town here in Stratford would crumble," Watson said. "A big portion of the people working here work there at Sikorskys."

With all of the job losses in Connecticut recently, Watson said it's hard to remain optimistic.

"I'm starting to look at opportunities outside the state because there is a lot of uncertainty now," Watson said.

Despite everything at Kingston Kafe, Mitchell said she continues to smile and is confident the bounce back is coming.

"I love Stratford," Mitchell said. "I am truly optimistic and so are the customers and the neighbors."

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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