QUEENSBURY -- C.R. Bard plans to cut about 200 positions at the Bay Road plant as it shifts some production work to other facilities, the company confirmed Thursday.
The global medical device maker announced the cuts to workers on Wednesday.
Corporate spokesman Scott Lowry said the reduction represents about 20 percent of the plant’s 960 employees. About 60 of those jobs are temporary positions, which will be targeted first.
The layoffs will impact mostly hourly workers, and they will begin in stages in the coming weeks. No layoffs had occurred as of Thursday morning, according to Lowry.
The downsizing will be an ongoing process as the company seeks to "improve its overall cost structure and enhance operational efficiency" in Queensbury, Lowry said.
That will entail the relocation of some product production to other facilities. Lowry would not comment on where, but he noted that C.R. Bard is a global company.
He said the immediate cuts are specific to the local plant, but reflective of a companywide push to mange its costs and ensure it remains competitive.
Plant Manager Jason Gaede deferred comment to the corporate office.
In an investor conference call last month, CEO Timothy Ring said Bard is pulling resources out of areas that are underperforming, and applying them to faster-growing segments.
"What you’re seeing here — and I don’t think we’re unique in this respect — we’re going to be redeploying resources to the growth areas around the globe," Ring said. "And those areas that are in the businesses that are a little bit slower, we’re going to pull resources out."
This larger restructuring cost the company $16.7 million in severance and related benefits during the fourth quarter. The changes are expected to save Bard about $10 million for 2011, and $19 million annually once the process is completed in 2012.
C.R. Bard’s profits were up about 5 percent in both the fourth quarter and the full year, after adjusting for non-recurring items.
Queensbury Supervisor Dan Stec said he was notified of the local layoffs on Wednesday. He hopes the displaced workers will find other opportunities for their specialized skills within the local medical device cluster.
"It underscores the need for us all to be mindful of what’s going on in the economy, and do what we can to attract and grow businesses in our community," he said.
The Warren County Economic Development Corp. has reached out to C.R. Bard to see if it can do anything to help save local jobs, said EDC Vice President John Wheatley.
The City of Glens Falls has also offered assistance in the matter.
Community/Economic Development Director Edward Bartholomew said city officials spoke to the company and the state Department of Labor.
Labor spokesman Leo Rosales said the department is working with C.R. Bard to assemble a rapid response team to meet with affected workers and review their options.
The team provides information about unemployment insurance and re-employment services.
"The day of the layoff is the worse possible day for that individual, so we try to provide them with a bit of hope for the day after," Rosales said.
A date has not yet been set for a meeting.
Severance and unemployment benefits will be available to those affected.
Mayor John "Jack" Diamond has offered Heritage Hall if rooms are needed for a Rapid Response effort.
For further details, check Friday's Post-Star and poststar.com.