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Job Cuts May Be Coming To Cinram

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.

7 comments

  • Kat L.

    With Netflix and online streaming, the Red Box rentals (the biggest reason Block Busters is/has gone out of business), people accessing “free” music and videos, it’s not going so well for CD’s and DVD’s, or their industry. My mother worked at Cinram (was called WIA) for 12 years and knew many who’d be there well over 20 years near retirement they just “let go” a few months ago. It’s completely destroyed hundreds, if not thousands, of employee’s families and homes. And in this area, it’s hard to match a job like that. No notice, just said to come in for a meeting and handed over 50 people papers saying they’re going through tough times and there will be a call back list, and will call if they need them, and then snuck out of the room before mass hysteria ensued. Everyone was angry and upset. They did the same thing last year. I’d say they’ve lost about 80% of their employees in the last few years, and they were already bankrupt and sold out a few years ago, and these are the new owners. It’s only a matter of time before they close down completely. It’s sickening to my stomach and such a shame.

    • Kat L.

      I forgot to mention that they lost Warner Brothers when they took their business to some company in Guatemala instead to get produced, so that lost the company a good chunk of income with which to pay any employees they did still have.

      But everyone says the economy is “picking up”. Where? That’s not why people are flocking in groups to fight over a 5-6 hour flex shift at minimum wage at McDonald’s or fighting to get in line at job fairs. They actually expect experience to work at places like McDonald’s now, and they can be picky about it because there are so many people begging for that job. I always thought fast food places and grocery stores etcetera were starter jobs you could get at any experience level and work your way up from there, but not now. There are no jobs, and those that there are, are not very good to actually sustain living.

  • ME

    Let them close, then group together and start your own manufacturing company. Since workers would have a vested interest in it, it will probably be more successful than some useless company running it and taking all the profits. It can happen. Think about it.

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