he worsening specialty glass sales slump claimed 34 production workers Friday as Corning Inc. announced layoffs here effective Jan. 5.
“The recession is hitting all our businesses pretty hard,” Corning spokeswoman Kelli C. Hopp-Michlosky said. “We’re seeing a decrease in orders from our customers. We’re trying to regulate our inventory for the current market.”
The McAdoo Road plant produces high-purity fused silica, which is used for lenses in machines that make semiconductor chips for computers and other electronic products. The factory also produces calcium fluoride crystals, used in the semiconductor industry, and telescope mirrors. The facility has about 180 salaried and hourly workers. Corning cut 20 jobs at the plant in June because of disappointing sales of the products. The company also announced it will close the plant for the holidays from Dec. 22 to Jan. 4 as a cost-savings measure. About 145 employees will return to work Jan. 5.
“It has been a while since we had a holiday shutdown,” Ms. Hopp-Michlosky said.
Corning also has recently cut jobs at factories in Kentucky and North Carolina. In October, the company warned that slowing demand for flat-screen televisions will sharply curtail sales and income in the current quarter.
The specialty glass and ceramics maker also cautioned in October the slowdown in its liquid crystal display glass business likely will extend into 2009 as the global economy worsens.