09.14.10

SCHUMER TO BAE CEO: SELECT BUYER THAT WILL KEEP PLATFORM SOLUTIONS OPEN AND OPERATING IN WESTOVER AND WILL PROTECT 1300 EMPLOYEES

Schumer, After Published Reports That BAE Systems Is Considering Selling Its Platform Solutions Unit, Urges CEO to Only Consider Buyers That Will Keep Facility In Place and Workers on the JobFacility Has Roots In Community, Boasts a World-Class Workforce and Has Been Kept Open Through a Series of OwnersSchumer Asks For Assurances That the 1300 Jobs Will Be Safe if the Facility is Sold

In the wake of public reports that BAE Systems is considering selling Platform Solutions, based in Broome County, New York, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today released a letter to BAE Systems Chief Executive Ian King urging him to only consider buyers that would keep the facility open and operating and that would preserve the 1300 jobs.  Schumer said that the facility had its roots in the community, boasts a worldclass workforce and that the 1,300 people it employs are vital to the regional economy.  Schumer sought assurances that, should BAE Systems decide to sell the unit, it would only consider buyers that would keep the Westover facility open and operational and the workers on the job.

"The workers at the Westover facility are worldclass and deserve to know that their jobs will be safe, even in the event of a sale," said Schumer.  "For decades this has been an enormously productive and profitable facility, and today I'm asking that BAE Systems only consider buyers that recognize this, and pledge to keep the facility open and in place."

BAE Systems has confirmed that it is considering selling Platform Solutions as part of a $2 billion sale. Goodrich Corp, Rockwell Collins Inc, Woodward Governor Co, Moog Inc and Honeywell International are considered possible bidders.  Schumer urged BAE Systems, if they do decide to sell Platform Solutions, to only consider bidders that will pledge to keep the Westover facility open.  The facility employs people from all over the Southern Tier and New York and Schumer said that it would be devastating if it moved or was closed.  Schumer joined the fight early to prevent such an outcome.  

Schumer's letter is below:

Dear Mr. King:

I write to express great concern regarding the recent reports that BAE Systems is considering selling its Platform Solutions unit. This has the potential to have a profound effect on the 1,300 workers at BAE's Westover facility located in New York's Broome County, and to the entire Greater Binghamton community.

Specifically, I urge you to make certain that any possible sale of this unit ensures the workers will remain right here in the Southern Tier, and that the Westover facility remain a viable operation and source of employment for the region.

The Westover facility has long been a mainstay in the region's economy. This facility has its roots in the community, first as a GE facility, later as Martin Marietta and then as part of Lockheed Martin, before being acquired by BAE in 2000. Throughout these transitions, the Westover workers have carried on the proud tradition of producing products to meet our nation's defense needs.

The workers at the Westover plant have always demonstrated a commitment to excellence that has benefited BAE and its predecessor companies. After a 10 year presence in this great community, I am sure you would agree that the Greater Binghamton region has tremendous value in terms of quality of life, close proximity to major transportation arteries, a strong workforce and the presence of a top rate higher education institution just minutes away.  

I am aware of the reports of  the several potential buyers that have emerged and I ask that BAE, should it decide to sell this unit, find a buyer who will recognize the value and attributes of this facility and demonstrate its commitment to the retention of both the facility and the 1,300 jobs.

I appreciate your attention to this matter. If I can offer any assistance, please feel free to contact my staff at 202 2246542.

Sincerely,

 

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator



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