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Local News

June 21, 2014

Lopez: Laid-off workers should see Greene facility

A Greene County pharmaceutical plant is hiring scores of workers — a possible silver lining for Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals employees being laid off from the company’s Hobart plant, Assemblyman Pete Lopez, R-Schoharie said Friday.

Lopez said he is hoping that the expansion of the payroll at the GlaxoSmithKline plant in East Durham will be good news for at least some of those being idled from the Mallinckrodt plant.

The Daily Star reported this week that approximately 80 Mallinckrodt workers are losing their jobs.

Lopez said he was advised by a Mallinckrodt representative that the layoffs grew out of “market variability,” and there was no mention that the company is trimming its workforce due to the business climate in New York.

Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline, also known as GSK, is adding more than 200 workers at its East Durham facility, a former Stiefel drug plant, the lawmaker said..

At one point, GSK considered moving its Durham operations to New Jersey. But Lopez said he helped the company work through issues it was having with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and it has since decided to invest another $5 million at the Durham facility.

“GlaxoSmithKline has plans to expand all over the globe,” he said.

The assemblyman said he is hoping that many of the job skills possessed by the laid off Mallinckrodt workers are transferable to GSK. He said he has put representatives of both companies in touch with one another in hopes that GSK positions will be offered to those losing their jobs at the Hobart plant.

Meanwhile, Lopez said he has reached out to local workforce agencies in hopes that they can direct those losing employment to potential career opportunities.

Most of those being affected by the cutback in Hobart are expected to be taken off the payroll in early July, a company official said this week.

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