Separate Cases: Hawker's Huge Losses, Sikorsky's Windfall

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A majority of Hawker Beechcraft workers may soon be looking for work while in an unrelated turn Sikorsky may see a financial windfall. The union for Hawker Beechcraft workers has sent a letter to its members telling them the company may cut its 6,000-person workforce by up to 75 percent (4,500 jobs) within the next two years, a local NBC affiliate reported Thursday. In a written statement, Hawker said the company has initiated meetings with the workers union "about serious challenges it [the company] faces." According to Hawker, the talks have covered "a spectrum of possibilities for the company's future footprint" and "the likely impact on its workforce in all its locations." Far across the country from Hawker's Wichita, Kan., home, Hartford, Conn.'s Sikorsky Aircraft Thursday won a State Supreme Court ruling against the state. According to the court, Sikorsky paid $916,600 in sales taxes the court says didn't apply to the company.

Connecticut law "refunds sales taxes to companies for aircraft manufacturing," according to Boston.com. The state argued Sikorsky's purchases were made for research and development and not for the production of helicopters. The court ruled that research and development is an integral part of Sikorsky's manufacturing process. The state now owes Sikorsky the nearly $1 million in taxes paid by the company for purchases from 1995 to 2002.