Lawsuit challenging Pratt&Whitneys plans to move 1,000 jobs out of Conn. goes before judge

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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HARTFORD, Conn. - A U.S. federal judge will begin hearing arguments in a lawsuit challenging jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney's plans to move 1,000 jobs out of Connecticut to another state and to Asia.
District judge Janet Hall is set to take up the lawsuit filed by the International Association of Machinists on Monday.
Hall is expected to decide by next month whether the East Hartford-based subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) complied with its union contract that requires "every reasonable effort" to preserve the jobs it wants to move to Columbus, Ga., Singapore and Japan.
The company says it has made those efforts. Pratt says it will shut its engine overhaul and repair plant in Cheshire by early 2011 and shift repair operations from its East Hartford facility beginning in next year's second quarter.
Pratt & Whitney Canada has also previously announced plans to close a Montreal-area plant by the end of 2010.
The company announced in September it would cut 250 jobs by the end of 2009 and an additional 160 jobs by the end of 2010, when it closes its Auvergne Street plant in Longueuil, Que., a community just south of Montreal.
The aircraft engine maker said it will consolidate its activities from the Auvergne Street plant at its other facilities in Quebec - its headquarters and a service centre, both in Longueuil - and a facility being expanded in Mirabel, north of Montreal.
Among Pratt & Whitney's customers is Quebec-based Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B), the world's third-largest aircraft manufacturer after Boeing and Airbus.

Organizations: Pratt & Whitney, International Association of Machinists, United Technologies Corp. NYSE Bombardier Inc. TSX Boeing Airbus

Geographic location: Montreal, U.S., Connecticut Asia Auvergne Street Longueuil Columbus, Ga. Singapore Japan Cheshire East Hartford Quebec Mirabel

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