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3M to lay off 200 in Southbridge


Move at former Aearo Company 'tough' for town



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The former Aearo Co. building at 35 Optical Drive, above, which will lose 200 manufacturing jobs next year under a move by parent company 3M. Walter Bird Jr.. (click for larger version)
June 27, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — In a town where the unemployment rate this year has been as high as 11.2 percent, news that even more folks will be losing their jobs might be a bitter pill to swallow.

It's even more difficult to take when it comes from an established and well-known business, but last Thursday, officials with the Minnesota-based 3M company announced the layoffs of 200 manufacturing employees, effective March 2010.

The former Aearo Company on the grounds of the old AO Complex in building No. 35 produces eye and ear protection equipment. Those duties will be farmed out to other 3M facilities, according to Jacqueline Berry, a company spokesman.

"As part of an integration process, we have decided to transfer manufacturing to other facilities," Berry said last week by telephone.

The move will cost 200 local workers, mostly from Southbridge, their jobs. Not all positions will be affected. Berry said positions in information technology, finance and technical services — about 50 in all — will stay in Southbridge.

For more on this story, read Monday's Southbridge Evening News.

SPE 2015
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