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Tyco officials tightlipped about layoffs

December 10, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. -- Although Tyco Electronics announced this week that it will lay off 2,500 employees worldwide, corporate officials would not discuss what - if any - impact will be felt at the Waynesboro plant.

The local plant, which employs 230 people, differs from others operated by Tyco Electronics in that it makes the tools later used elsewhere to wire components of computers, appliances, handheld devices and flat-screen televisions.

"This has been a productive facility for them," said L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County (Pa.) Area Development Corp.

Sheri Woodruff, corporate spokeswoman, said the layoffs are due to decreased demand because of the global economic slowdown.

"We spoke to some employees in North America on Monday who are being affected by a reduction in work force," Woodruff said. Those people will last report to work on Friday, she said.

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Other positions will be eliminated by the end of March 2009, Woodruff said.

She would not release the number of employees affected in the Waynesboro plant, county, state or country.

"We have seen a very sharp decrease in demand for our products," Woodruff said, saying that the dropoff fully started in October.

The corporation, with 96,000 employees worldwide, already had small-scale, work-force reductions.

"We need to keep the company in a solid economic condition. We're taking actions companywide," Woodruff said.

In addition to reduced consumer demand for electronics, Tyco Electronics has lost business from automakers. Most of its automaking clients are based in Europe and Asia.

Ross said his records indicate the Waynesboro plant, formerly known as Amp, has been open since 1973.

"They are absolutely an important part of our overall economy and more specifically the Waynesboro economy. They've always been a stable employer and pay above-average wage rates," Ross said.

An apprenticeship program is being developed through Tyco in Waynesboro, he said.

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