Job Cuts at Schott Glass Plant

Date: 20 September 2004
A large company in Luzerne County is cutting jobs. Dozens of glass workers at the Schott plant in Duryea will get pink slips.

Schott officials confirmed Thursday 50 workers will no longer have jobs at the end of the month. It's on top of another 20 full-time positions turned into part-time jobs earlier this year. Now many of the workers said they don't know where they'll turn for work.

"It's just a shame that now I'll have to look for something cheaper around this area because all the good jobs are gone," said David. He didn't want to give his last name. He works as a glass inspector at Schott and now one of those who received a pink slip.

Schott manufactures optical glass used in equipment such as microscopes and telescopes as well as glass for eyeglasses. The plant manager said all the employees affected by the layoff work in the eyeglass division. He said new technologies and competition from Asia are to blame for the cutbacks.

"I can't argue with the company's point. Everything is changing globally and all that and they've been trying to do their best. The company has done a positive job and they are working with the union under these layoffs," said glass inspector Tom McClean.

Schott is a German company which has ten plants in North America including one near Harrisburg. A company spokesperson said none of the laid-off workers at the Duryea plant will be relocated.

"I kind of look forward to hanging on as long as I can up here, maybe be on the call list or something like that. Other than that I really don't know," said glass worker Thomas Surdouski.

Workers said manufacturing jobs are hard to come by in this area. They're hoping Schott will pay to retrain them for other careers. "If they give us schooling hopefully I can go learn to drive a tractor trailer because otherwise any other factory job you get around here is most likely that will be shipped overseas too," said Dave.

The union that represents the glass workers is in negotiations with Schott management over retraining workers who have been laid off. The sticking point is money.

600450 Job Cuts at Schott Glass Plant
Date: 20 September 2004

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