QUEENSBURY -- The C.R. Bard plant in Queensbury is laying off 54 full-time employees to bring its staffing level in line with demand for its products.
Employees were notified of the layoffs Monday, and the actual reductions will take place over the next few weeks.
The layoffs announced Monday are on top of 55 layoffs at the medical device manufacturing plant in July, said Scott Lowry, C.R. Bard vice president and treasurer.
“It’s a challenging health-care environment for a lot of reasons,” Lowry said. “We’re right-sizing to meet those changes. We’re not seeing the volumes we had in the past, the volumes we were expecting.”
No additional layoffs are planned for the plant currently, and Lowry said there weren’t layoffs at any of the company’s other facilities on Monday, but that’s something company officials continue to look at.
Despite the recent downsizing, Lowry emphasized the company remains committed to the Queensbury plant, and there weren’t any long-term implications about the future of the plant.
“It’s a key plant for us, but a lot depends on needs,” Lowry said. “We view it as a key facility for Bard. This was mostly a tactical reaction.”
The laid-off employees were offered severance packages, Lowry said.
The company last month reported a third-quarter earnings drop. The company’s net income was $129.3 million, a 1 percent decrease from the third quarter in 2011.
The company’s business has been shifting to overseas markets and its overseas sales grew by 3 percent in the third quarter, while U.S. sales were down 1 percent from last year’s third quarter.
The company announced in July it would lay off 55 employees from the Queensbury plant, with the cuts phased over a two-week period. That round of layoffs was attributed to a planned realignment that relocated a product line to another location and brought the plant’s workforce to about 750 employees, company officials said in July.
While that layoff was specific to the realignment, Lowry called this week’s cut a more general reduction that will match its number of employees better with the current needs at the plant.
Despite Monday’s announcement, Vicki Pratt Gerbino, president of EDC Warren County, said she felt positive about the company’s future in the region.
“My heart goes out to those families that will be affected by this,” Pratt Gerbino said. “These are people who, unfortunately, are going into the holiday season knowing they’ve lost their jobs.”
Pratt Gerbino works closely with C.R. Bard, and said the company is continuing to explore new products. She didn’t provide specifics, but said there are ideas the company is exploring now that give her confidence about it continuing to have a strong presence in the region, she said.
“I feel fairly positive about that company and the time I’ve spent inside that plant about the things I’ve been having conversations with them about,” Pratt Gerbino said.
Pratt Gerbino has spoken to representatives at other similar companies in the region, which are talking about adding shifts or increasing the physical size of their plants.
“In each one of these cases, we’re talking about adding workers,” Pratt Gerbino said. “I’m hearing sales are up, and we’re seeing some signs of real life there.”
Such positive trends may be promising for the people who were laid off this week and will again be looking for work with a specific skill set.
Queensbury Supervisor Dan Stec received a phone call earlier Monday from a C.R. Bard plant manager letting him know that plant downsizing was imminent.
The sense Stec got from the phone call was the reason behind the layoffs is the state of the economy in general, not issues with the Queensbury plant specifically, he said.
“Between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a rotten time for that kind of announcement,” Stec said. “But it’s indicative of the economy and the overall situation in the country for their market right now.”