Jackson Lab lays off 50 workers

By Rich Hewitt, BDN Staff
Posted March 16, 2009, at 11:16 p.m.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — The Jackson Laboratory has laid off about 50 employees as it implemented promised job cuts at the biomedical research facility.

Laboratory officials notified the affected employees on Thursday, less than a week after the planned layoffs were announced. The affected employees’ jobs ended that day, according to company spokeswoman Joyce Peterson.

With Thursday’s cuts, most of the employees affected by the layoffs have been notified and they have left the institution, Peterson said Monday.

“There are one or two people whose jobs will continue for a brief period of time,” she said.

The job cuts reduce the lab’s staff from 1,427 to 1,372 positions. The facility remains the largest employer in Hancock County.

In a statement earlier this month, Rick Woychik, president and CEO at The Jackson Laboratory, said the job cuts were necessary in order to “keep the laboratory on solid financial footing in an increasingly challenging world economy.”

The company also had announced plans to cut back hours temporarily for about 315 hourly employees, reducing their hours from 40 to 37.5 hours a week. Those cutbacks, most of which will affect animal care and operations technicians who work in the lab’s mouse rooms, will allow the company to keep 25 of those technician jobs that otherwise would have been eliminated. The hourly curtailments are expected to be in place by the end of the month.

Peterson noted that there generally is attrition among those workers as people leave their jobs for a variety of reasons. For every one person who leaves their job voluntarily, the lab can bring 12 people back to the full 40-hour week. Initially, the lab anticipated the curtailments to last for approximately eight months. Attrition could shorten that time, Peterson said.

She said there is no indication now that additional layoffs will be necessary.

rhewitt@bangordailynews.net

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http://bangordailynews.com/2009/03/16/news/jackson-lab-lays-off-50-workers/ printed on December 20, 2014