- - Tuesday, September 25, 2012

BIG FLATS, N.Y. — Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., citing declining military budgets and a tough economy, said it will close its plant in upstate New York and eliminate all 570 jobs.

Employees at the 5-year-old facility, where the ranks have dwindled from a peak of 1,300, were told Monday that the plant would close as of Dec. 31 and its work transitioned to Sikorsky’s facility in West Palm Beach, Fla.

“Faced with these difficult economic conditions we must eliminate excess production capacity and increase operational efficiencies to remain competitive,” said Paul Jackson, a spokesman for the Stratford, Conn.-based subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.

The helicopter maker and military contractor announced in September 2011 that it was trimming its worldwide workforce of 18,000 by about 540 jobs.


Ford offers buyouts as part of restructuring in Europe

DETROIT — Ford plans to cut several hundred workers in Europe as part of a larger restructuring in the money-losing region.

The company said it is offering voluntary buyouts to salaried workers in Germany, the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. It also is cutting temporary salaried positions and some outsourced services.

Ford is studying other measures, including plant closures, in an effort to stem its losses. Ford lost $404 million in Europe in the second quarter and expects to lose $1 billion there this year. The region’s economic crisis has hurt car sales, which dropped nearly 7 percent in the first six months of this year.

Ford shares fell 2 percent, or 23 cents, to close at $10.09.


CEO of BlackBerry maker optimistic about comeback

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins is convinced that the company’s BlackBerry phone is poised to regain its stature as a trailblazing device even as many investors fret about its potential demise.

Mr. Heins took the stage Tuesday at a conference for mobile applications developers to rally support for the upcoming release of BlackBerry 10, an operating system that Research In Motion Ltd. is touting as its salvation after years of blundering.

The gathering in San Jose served as the equivalent of a revival meeting for RIM. The Canadian company has been laying off thousands of workers to offset growing losses after being outmaneuvered by iPhone maker Apple Inc. and other phone makers relying on Google Inc.’s Android software.

Mr. Heins and other top RIM executives used the conference to provide a glimpse at some of BlackBerry 10’s new features. The redesigned software won’t hit the market until early next year.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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