By Jeremy Herb
The Pentagon’s budget crunch has pushed defense contractor Sikorsky to close a plant in upstate New York and cut about 570 jobs, the company said Tuesday.
Sikorsky, a subsidiary of United Technologies, informed employees at its facility in Horseheads, N.Y., on Monday that it would close the plant at the end of the year and move the work to West Palm Beach, Fla.
The helicopter manufacturer cited “declining defense budgets” and continuing economic weakness as its rationale behind the move.
“Faced with these difficult economic conditions, we must eliminate excess production capacity and increase operational efficiencies to remain competitive,” Sikorsky spokesman Paul Jackson said in a statement.
Companies have warned that sequestration, which could bring another $500 billion cuts to the Pentagon, would increase the number of layoffs in the industry.