Bankruptcy & Unemployment News: New England Layoffs
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Filing Bankruptcy Alert: Layoffs in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont)

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Read below for information about layoffs in New England:

Maine Layoffs

A South Portland-based manufacturer is planning to lay off employees at its plant.

Fairchild Semiconductor makes silicon chips for electronics. The spokesperson to the paper that cuts are coming, but didn't provide any details. She said things were still in "early phases".

The company employees 800 Maine residents.

Mass Layoffs Updates for June 22, 2009

The University of Maine at Orono has announced its plan to cut 109 positions, including dozens of layoffs, in an effort to shave $8.8 million from next year’s budget. This move will involve handing pink slips to 32 employees, eliminating 77 currently vacant positions, and reducing hours of 31 full-time employees. With the 2010 fiscal year budget, the university has $248 million available for spending.

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone of Somerville, Massachusetts, announced on June 8 his issuance of 14 layoff notices to city employees on Friday, June 5 as part of a larger plan to eliminate a total of 24 positions. 21 of these are union positions from the city’s FY2010 budget. 10 different departments will be affected by the adjustments, and the city’s budget shortfall lessened by nearly $1.2 million.

Mass Layoffs Updates for April 6, 2009

General Electric Security in Augusta, Maine has offered more than 100 workers voluntary buyouts. The plant currently employs approximately 425 workers. The buyout packages will include severance pay and benefits and the affected employees have been given 60 days’ notice, according to the Kennebec Journal.

Lionbridge Technologies Inc. in Boston, Mass. Plans to lay off about 325 workers as part of a restructuring plan to reduce expenses. The company is a provider of technology translation and testing services for companies. Lionbridge will also cut its workforce by 8 percent globally and consolidate offices, according to the Boston Business Journal.

The National Starch and Chemical Co. plant in Island Falls, Maine will cease production in June and lay off 38 workers. The Associated Press reported higher costs prompted the company’s decision as it moves to streamline operations and concentrate production at larger facilities.

Mass Layoffs Updates for October 24, 2008

Approximately 1,000 employees of the state of Massachusetts will be laid off, according to a report by Financial Planning Magazine. On October 15, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced that he will cut the state's $28.2 billion fiscal 2009 budget by more than $1 billion and layoff the workers.

The budget cut is necessary to offset an estimated $1.4 billion deficit due to approximately $1.1 billion of less than anticipated revenue for fiscal 2009. In addition to the layoffs, the governor will ask the legislature for an additional $200 million.

The budget cuts will reportedly come from programs such as education, life sciences, and clean and alternative energy initiatives. The governor pledged not to cut funding from veteran, elderly or disability services. The cuts to social programs for health care, homelessness, domestic violence and hunger programs will be limited.

Mass Layoffs Updates for September 12, 2008

American Airlines has furloughed approximately 105 flight attendants at Logan International Airport in order to cut costs, according to the Boston Business Journal. The airline reduced its operating schedule on July 1 and has found it necessary to cut staff. The flight attendants were put on leaves of absence before the end of August, and the airline says that it may be permanent. Initially, American Airlines has said that it would lay off 900 flight attendants across the company, but was able to avoid the layoffs through voluntary buyouts. The airline is also attempting to reduce the number of pilots it employs.

Mass Layoffs Updates for August 29, 2008

Wausau Paper Corp. has announced that it will permanently shut down one of two paper machines at its specialty products mill in Jay, Maine. As a result of this decision, approximately 150 of the 235 workers at the plant will be laid off. The layoffs will occur on or before December 31. Wausau reportedly made the decision to shut down the paper machine due to difficult market conditions and dramatically increased input costs.

AT&T Inc. will lay off almost 200 people at an AT&T passport call center in Dover, New Hampshire. A company spokesperson told the Associated Press that the employees have received their layoff notices. The layoffs are a result of an order by the State Department due to a reduction in calls to the passport center. The State Department has also ordered a reduction of employee hours. As a result, the call center will now close on weekends and reduce weekday hours by two hours.

Belden Inc., a manufacturer of high-speed electronic cables, is closing its plant in Manchester, Connecticut and will lay off 132 workers. According to an Associated Press report, the Mohawk cable production plant in Manchester will close by September. The company plans to consolidate with a recently opened factory in Mexico and save $5 million per year.

The Boston Globe reports that the Polaroid Corporation is rapidly shutting down its film manufacturing lines in Massachusetts and shutting down the manufacturing of instant film completely. The closings will be completed this quarter and will result in about 150 layoffs. Don't throw away that old instant camera just yet though; the company is interested in licensing the technology for the instant film so that another company could manufacture it for people who are still fans of instant Polaroid pictures.

In Salem, Massachusetts the Salem Public School District has laid off 33 workers. After the layoff, 27 workers breathed a sigh of relief because 60 people had been set to lose their jobs after questionable bookkeeping caused a mid-year deficit. The Associated Press State & Local Wire reported that the governor of Massachusetts signed special legislation so that two dozen teachers and school library aides could keep their jobs. The former school business manager is blamed for the budget problems due to mismanagement of finances.

Fidelity Investments of Boston, Massachusetts has announced that it will lay off approximately 250 people as part of its ongoing restructuring plan. The Boston Globe reports that the company will be merging two investment units and eliminate technology jobs from both units. Fidelity employs approximately 46,500 people.

In Lawrence, Massachusetts, 60 full-time and temporary Lawrence city employees were laid off as city administrators make an effort to reduce a $2.3 million deficit. At least 20 of the employees who were laid off worked in the city's Department of Public Works, and all of the 10 employees in the city's water treatment plant were let go. A city nurse and 7 library department employees were also given pink slips.

In Claremont, New Hampshire, Customized Structures Inc. has laid off all 120 workers, and most employees lost their jobs on Christmas Day. The company was in the business of building modular homes and buildings.

In Frankfort, Maine, high diesel fuel prices have driven the Harriman Brother Construction Company out of the construction trade after 33 years. The company's eight trucks have been parked and 16 people were laid off because the company can't afford to stay in business. The company's cost to run the trucks had increased to $10,000 per week, which forced them to park the trucks and close the business.

Boston's Summit Mortgage Co. has laid off most of its 140 employees and disclosed plans to halt operations at month's end, making the company the latest casualty of the mortgage market's meltdown. Summit's CEO said, ``This heartbreaking decision was made only after we considered all possible alternatives. The current mortgage environment proved to be insurmountable.'' Summit closed its eight Boston-area offices and has laid off essentially all of its employees.

The governor of Rhode Island has announced he will eliminate more than 1,000 state jobs to help close an estimated $200-million deficit. Under the plan, 1,016 full-time positions, which is about 7% percent of the current state work force, will be eliminated through layoffs and attrition. The job cuts are intended to save roughly $100 million. The Republican governor said he would also seek to close the rest of the deficit by seeking concessions from labor unions and by cutting spending on social programs. The state government is Rhode Island's largest employer.

Approximate Affected Workforce: over 1000

Boston Scientific Corporation of Natick, Massachusetts will have a mass layoff affecting thousands of people because of slumping sales of the medical devices that it manufactures. Boston Scientific will cut between 7 and 12 percent of its worldwide workforce of 28,000 employees, which means roughly 2,000 to 3,400 people will lose their jobs, in addition to the 500 to 600 people it laid off earlier this year.

Westpoint Home, Inc. plans to lay off 42 employees at its blanket manufacturing plant in Biddeford, Maine. The plant will cut its second shift workforce which will leave 38 hourly and four salaried employees without work and the textile mill down to a single shift.

Dairy producer HP Hood will lay off 80 employees at its ice cream plant in Suffield, Connecticut in November leaving the plant with half the work force. Hood said its demand for novelty products has declined due to competitors increasing dominance in the market. The company will continue to produce ice cream in Suffield for retail and bulk sales.

According to a union website, jet engine-maker Pratt & Whitney has recently proposed to lay off 300 unionized machinists from its steadily-diminishing Connecticut workforce. The company has cut its blue-collar workforce by more than 75 percent since 1983, from nearly 17,000 to 4,135. No further details were provided by company spokesmen.

The Andover, Massachusetts Alcatel-Lucent plant that used to employ 12,000 people will be closed next year when it lays off 300 employees and transfers the remaining 190. France's Alcatel acquired lucent Technologies in November. In the first quarter, the company reported a 35% decrease in profits forcing the decision to close the plant. Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry said they would help make sure federal programs to aid the displaced workers are available.

By September 1, 224 workers at three Shaw's Supermarkets will be laid off or transferred. Two stores in Rhode Island, one in Pawtucket and the other in Providence will be closed. Also closing is a third store in Waterbury, Connecticut. Company officials indicated the closings were due to poor sales. However, the notice shocked city leaders because it would severely impact two inner-city shopping centers in Rhode Island. Specifically, the Providence shopping center was part of that city's attempt to revitalize the neighborhood. Shaw's is planning to sublease one of the outlets to another unnamed grocer.

Quaker Fabric Corp. recently announced that it will likely engage in a mass layoff of 900 workers. The expected layoffs would be attributed to the loss of millions of dollars it has sustained in competition with the Chinese textile market. Low labor costs, massive production and an undervalued currency are all weapons the Chinese textile industry employs to provide a harrowing playing field for foreign competitors. Quaker makes fabric for furniture upholstery.

State Street and Investors Financial recently laid off 450 jobs in anticipation of the merger between the two Boston financial firms. Earlier this year, State Street said it planned to layoff a total of 1,700 employees in an attempt to reduce costs and duplicative positions. Now that the merger is complete, a spokeswoman for State Street recently said that additional layoffs can be expected over the next 18 months. Investors Financial took the brunt of the first round of layoffs.

Point Therapeutics, Inc. recently announced its plans to lay off about 20 employees in reaction to disappointing clinical results for a lung cancer treatment. The decision was made after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration put clinical trials for the drug Talabostat on hold. The FDA made its decision in the face of disappointing interim clinical trial results testing Talabostat as a treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

The Northbridge School District in Massachusetts recently announced the layoffs of 72 teachers, or a third of the districts teaching staff. Full-day kindergarten will be eliminated alongside bus transportation for older children at the town's public schools and the Whitinsville Christian School. The Aldrich Early Childhood Center will be closed while district-wide class sizes will increase dramatically and high school sports will be eliminated. The layoffs are being made in reaction to the recent rejection of a $3.7 million deficit override by the school committee.

The San Diego-based pharmaceutical company CytRx Corp recently announced the layoffs of 12 lab workers from its Worcester laboratory. The company will be relocating the laboratory to San Diego and the layoffs will compromise the entirety of the Massachusetts facility's staff. The company reported a $4.5 million loss for the quarter and expects to incur a cash charge of up to $260,000 in relation with the Worcester layoff.

The Milford School District recently expected to hand out layoff notices to as many as 52 staff members in reaction to a $6.4 million budget-related funding gap to maintain current services. The Town Council recently provided $2 million of that amount and another $2.14 million could come from a $2.7 million override proposition to be voted on this month. The full gap would not be covered even with the override and 32 staff members would still be laid off. If the override fails, the layoff numbers would grow to 52 staff members.

Massachusetts-based GPC Biotech AG recently announced that it will close its facility in Waltham and lay off 16 percent of its work force. The company said all of its drug discovery programs will now be managed at its headquarters in Munich, Germany and that it would continue to build clinical development and commercialization groups in Princeton, New Jersey. Laid off employees will be eligible for severance packages including severance pay, continuation of benefits and outplacement services, according to GPC Biotech.

The Cape Cod Times in Massachusetts recently announced it will cut 12 positions through layoffs and buyouts as it wrestles with declining advertising revenues. The newspaper will layoff the equivalent of 4.5 full time customer service workers and expects about eight employees from various departments to accept voluntary buyouts. The Times is one of eight daily newspapers owned by the Ottaway newspaper chain, based in Campbell Hall, New York. The layoffs come as the newspaper industry struggles to deal with competition from the Internet and build profitable online businesses.

Boston Communications Group Inc. plans to lay off 93 employees in order to cut costs in preparation for a revenue loss from its largest customer, the wireless phone provider Sprint Nextel Corp. The company, which creates billing software for its clients, said most of its affected workers will be laid off over the next several weeks. Boston Communications anticipates a one-time $2 million charge to account for the layoffs, which amounts to 21 percent of the company's worldwide workforce and 30 percent of its U.S. employment.

Claremont, New Hampshire modular home producer Customized Structures is cutting hours and pay for 150 employees. CEO Dick Krant said the slowdown in housing demand forced the company to make the drastic changes. Each employee will get one week off work with out pay. Hourly employees will only work 32 hours starting the following week. Also, salaried employees will receive a 20% pay decrease. Krant agreed to give up his salary for two months. The duration of the changes depends solely on whether the housing market rebounds or not.

Specialty paper maker and distributor Neenah Paper will close its Housatonic, Massachusetts plant by the end of May. 137 employees will be left without jobs when the plant closes. The employees impacted were shocked to hear the news since the plant was just recently purchased by Neenah from Fox River.

Revere Copper Products will close its 145 year-old New Bedford, Massachusetts plant in approximately six months. All 85 employees will receive layoff notices. Some workers were shocked to hear the news that the plate and sheet mill will close even though it has been struggling for many years.

Hoke Inc. is closing its valve and fitting plant located in Berlin, Connecticut. Around 50 employees received layoff notices this week. The employees were shocked and upset, but company officials explained the closing decision was not made in haste. The employees will receive severance packages of at least one week or more depending on their length of employment.

The billing operations for the national ambulance company American Medical Response is moving to a larger facility in Akron, Ohio. The New Haven, Connecticut office will close by April 13 resulting in the termination of 51 employees.

Sovereign Bancorp Inc., the second largest savings and loan, announced mass layoff plans affecting 7% of its workforce as part of a $100 million cost-saving plan. The mass layoff involving 800 employees will begin right away and be completed by the end of 2007. The bank will lay off 150 New Jersey employees, 77 Boston employees, 70 Reading, Pennsylvania employees and 100 employees between Atlanta, Indianapolis and Concord, California. The rest of the mass layoff will be spread throughout other locations run by the Philadelphia employer.

The Massachusetts digital technology company, EMC announced plans to layoff 1250 employees worldwide. The company bought 21 other companies in the last three years, which has lead to a number of redundant positions. EMC employs 8700 people in Massachusetts but it is not clear how many of those positions will be cut. The employer also laid off 1000 employees in January of this year.

Electric Boat, which announced in July that 440 shipyard workers would be laid off in September, has added 170 job cuts. The new round of layoffs will take effect on October 27.

Electric Boat issued 440 layoff notices early in July, though the affected employees are being given 60 days notice. Career-transition services will be provided by the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board. These layoffs are part of the planned elimination of between 1,900 and 2,400 jobs announced earlier this year.

Bank of America Corp., which already laid off approximately 17,000 workers after its 2004 acquisition of FleetBoston Financial Corp., is expected to lay off about 6,000 more in the wake of its recent purchase of MBNA.


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