NEW YORK - Defense contractor United Technologies (IW 500/23) said Wednesday it could be forced to furlough thousands of staff as soon as next week if the government shutdown persists.
The company, which includes aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney and helicopter builder Sikorsky, said its operations could be stalled by the shutdown of the Defense Department's Defense Contract Management Agency, where auditors and inspectors have been placed on unpaid leave due to Congress's stalemate over a new budget.
"Without the required DCMA inspectors, who were deemed non-essential federal employees, certain defense manufacturing work must be halted, which will result in employee furloughs," the company said.
United Technologies said it expects 2,000 workers at Sikorsky Aircraft, which produces the Black Hawk helicopter, to be placed on furlough on Oct. 7.
If the shutdown continues through next week, Pratt & Whitney and UTC Aerospace Systems would also be affected, with an additional 2,000 workers suspended.
The total could exceed 5,000 employees if the shutdown continues into next month, the company said.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013