OLYPHANT — State labor officials told Newswatch 16 layoffs are looming for a manufacturing company in Lackawanna County that was once one the largest employers in our area.
Though Cinram Manufacturing has had layoffs in the past, people in Lackawanna County’s mid-valley fear there aren’t many workers left to layoff.
Employees at Cinram Manufacturing in Olyphant told Newswatch 16 that a meeting was called with managers of the CD and DVD making company this morning. Though officials with Cinram won’t tell Newswatch 16 what the meeting was about, The state Department of Labor and Industry said Cinram contacted the department about upcoming layoffs.
Cinram Manufacturing is a worlwide company that makes CD’s and DVD’s. That kind of work has roots in Lackawanna County and at one time Cinram was one of the largest employers in northeast Pennsylvania with a few thousand employees.
Now there are only a few hundred and state labor officials said that number may shrink again.
Officials from the state Department of Labor and Industry said Cinram contacted their office about laying off fewer than 50 employees. Employees told Newswatch 16 they were set to meet with management Tuesday morning.
“I saw cars in the front parking lot which you don’t typically see. Security guards at both entrances which I’m guessing are to keep the media out. Those are typically signs that there’s something going on over there,” said Brian Mecca who owns Wall St. Deli just down the road from Cinram.
Mecca said he knows all too well that layoffs are looming at the Cinram facility. Since it’s five years to the day that he got his pink slip there.
Though it’s a relatively small number of jobs, he thinks the latest layoffs are a bad sign that Cinram’s manufacturing history in Olyphant may soon be over.
“It’s heartbreaking, really. When I started there in the 80’s I think there was almost 3,500 people there, now there’s probably only 450. It’s a huge reduction from what it used to be,” Mecca added.
Wall St. Deli shares a plaza with a few other small business that were built to cater to Cinram and a few other large employers nearby. Employees stop for lunch at Armenti’s Pizzeria or get a quick haircut at Plush Hair Design.
Workers there are afraid an uncertain future for Cinram means an uncertain future for them too.
“I don’t think they think about how it’s going to affect the local businesses around here. The deli caters to people, the pizza place caters to people over there, we all cater to that business and now they’re losing it,” said Elizabeth Garvey of Plush Hair Design.
State labor officials said Cinram was not required to file official paperwork with the Department of Labor because the number of layoffs is fewer than 50.
Newswatch 16 reached out to Cinram officials to ask how many jobs will be affected, when, and why. But our calls were not returned.