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Citicorp spokesman says layoffs may not affect area

October 21, 1997

By LAURA ERNDE

Staff Writer

Citicorp Credit Services Inc. in Hagerstown could gain or lose employees under a plan to eliminate 7,500 jobs throughout the company, said spokesman Phil Kelly.

"It's not time for anybody to get nervous. This site has a reputation for doing good work," Kelly said.

Citicorp on Tuesday announced plans to eliminate 7,500 jobs worldwide in the next 12 to 18 months to streamline its customer transactions.

The company plans to consolidate its processing centers that, like the one in Hagerstown, perform such tasks as handling customer statements, issuing credit cards, doing paperwork on mortgages and other loans and answering questions from customers.

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Citicorp has processing centers in 98 countries, the company said.

In all, Citicorp will eliminate 9,000 positions at centers being closed and will add 1,500 positions at centers that will be expanded, a net loss of 7,500 jobs.

That represents 8.3 percent of its global work force of 90,000 people.

More than 2,300 employees at the Hagerstown center were notified of the plan Tuesday morning through office memos, Kelly said.

Employees will be the first to know of any decisions affecting them, he said.

Citicorp has made a substantial investment in Hagerstown in the 11 years it has been here. A $10 million third wing opened last fall.

In August, Citicorp opened an $8.6 million day-care center, believed to be the largest corporate-sponsored day-care center in the country.

The number of employees at the company has grown from 1,200 to 2,300 in the last seven years.

"We're not going anywhere. This place will remain an integral part of the community," Kelly said.

This won't be the first time that employees in Hagerstown have faced restructuring. Citicorp is constantly transferring operations, he said.

Citicorp has a formal process to help displaced employees. If someone declines to transfer with the job, Citicorp helps the employee find another job there or with another company, he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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