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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Corning says planned job cuts will impact its plant here in Wilmington. What’s not known is how many people will lose their job in the Port City.

“It’s unfortunate that anybody gets laid off, but Corning’s business is tied directly to the market,” Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said.

Corning Optical Fiber says it will soon cut about 250 employees from its global workforce, which includes employees at its plant on north college road.

“We expected the worldwide fiber market to grow five to 10 percent (volume) in 2013,” Corning spokeswoman Monica Monin said in a statement. “However, we now believe the market will be consistent with 2012. Because the market isn’t meeting our growth expectations, we will take actions to reduce capacity.”

It’s not the first time the company Wilmington has braced for cuts at the factory.

“There was a fear at one time that we would lose the entire Corning plant back in 2001 when there was a tremendous collapse in the fiber optic market,” Saffo said.

Corning would not give specifics on how many employees would be affected here in the port city, but the StarNews reported earlier this year the company would cut 100 jobs at three North Carolina facilities, including Wilmington. That came just months after Corning announced 500 layoffs around the world.

Saffo says the company has laid off people before, but has also rehired employees when business picked up.

“It’s a balancing act, and that’s obviously that’s why you have to constantly be competitive,” the mayor said. “You have to always be out there looking for companies and try to attract companies to our community and work very hard, because it is a very competitive industry to try and get jobs into your community.”

Jobs he hopes will bring more business and revenue to our area.

We tried to talk to a spokesman for the union that represents workers at the Corning plant. He has not yet returned our call.

Comment on this Story

  • A

    Poor pitiful Corning…..awe…….you are a dinosaur……and u know it

  • Keenen Altic

    NC is a Right to Work For Less state. That means unions can exist but their collective bargaining ability is severly limited due to a lack of union dues. I’m amazed out how ignorant people in Wilmington are about the laws that we live under that oppress unions and have forced them under the rug. A “right-to-work” law is a statute in the United States that prohibits union security agreements, or agreements between labor unions and employers, that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees’ membership, payment of union dues, or fees as a condition of employment. The irony is that you all want to know where the union is after you’ve busted it. If you have a problem with the fact that jobs are being lost I have a suggestion. Form your own union and take over the factory.

  • Guest Reply Redux


    Read the bottom line of this article above.
    Where did their jobs go?
    Answer: India

    Once again:
    “We expected the worldwide fiber market to grow five to 10 percent (volume) in 2013,” Corning spokeswoman Monica Monin said in a statement. “However, we now believe the market will be consistent with 2012. Because the market isn’t meeting our growth expectations, we will take actions to reduce capacity.” (Unquote)

    That’s why they opened a plant in India…because the business was having an extreme downturn in market sales causing a global reduction huh?
    Come buy my 40 acres of swamp sand in the desert too while you are at it!
    Guess that India info would have raised Hell in the Wilmington papers huh?

  • Guest Reply Redux

    “We expected the worldwide fiber market to grow five to 10 percent (volume) in 2013,” Monin said. “However, we now believe the market will be consistent with 2012. Because the market isn’t meeting our growth expectations, we will take actions to reduce capacity. About 250 employees from our worldwide optical fiber business will be impacted.” (Unquote)

    First off…5% to 10% (Gross “Volume” Dollars) can vary hugely in big business dollars. They can never narrow it down until “Lay Off” time.
    Typical of an under experienced management (so called) “Team Leadership”…as they love to refer that Buzz Word to themselves these days of Six Sigma…predicting the unpredictable future in a “Global Competitive Market of Competitiveness and Downsizing Efforts to Stay Competitive in the World of Big Business”.
    I heard those words so many times for years and years in the Aviation business in meetings…yes…I memorized it. It’s 90% BS…and 10% Bologna!
    But at the end of the day… when it came right down to it…all it boiled down to was…waiting 12 to 16 months for those under experienced roving Management Team Leaders to get promoted…and move on. All that entertainment though for a year +…was for free too!!
    Who’s to say their current prediction has merit either? The same ones that predicted it wrong for 2013 to start with? Catch 22 huh???? This will change behind doors 10 times before it comes to pass…at least 10!
    Stay tuned! 2013 was supposed to be a horrific hurricane season for the USA too…but weather predictions have built in room for errors.

  • Randall Corning

    Corning’s Wilmington Plant management knows the numbers. They announced them to the us (the employees) they have terrorized for close to a year this morning. They are laying off 165 for the moment with the possibility of more to come. We have been threatened and made to do the work of several people for months. They have been walking out (their term for firing) employees for close to 6 months for NO reason as they prepared for this. Hey, laying off 165 looks better to investors than 200 or 225. And naturally while they were terrorizing their employees, some moved on to better places of employment to get away from the abuse. Shame on you Corning for abusing and over working your employees. Park outside their plant and watch the employees change shifts. So many people limping and broken down physically. I hope their investors take notice and decide to stay away. Total mismanagement of their plants and employees equals poor quality and lack of caring on the employees part. Everyone just wants to do their time and go home. VERY bad working environment.

  • RSmith

    … I can’t dispute your numbers, because I’m not there. BUT, having previously been an employee, everything else you wrote is indisputable.. and I’m not concerned with anyone putting my screen name to my face!

  • Guest123456789

    This is not the 1910s. If working conditions are unsafe or inhumane, DENR, OSHA, or a variety of other government agencies could get involved with a simple phone call from someone.

    Your complaints are typical. You feel entitled to making more money for doing the exact same thing without making any personal effort to give more value to the company (training, education, etc.). Productivity is a key metric in business. That is, get more out with the same resources through non-value waste elimination.

    BTW, there are tens of millions of people in this country who are un- or underemployed who would work there in a minute. Corning is not a prison, if it is that bad, then quit and go find something else to do.

    Note: I do NOT work for Corning or any of its subsidiaries.

  • guest7969

    What’d new…Corning has done this many times… you should expect it if you work there.

  • Confused again

    Wait, I thought the 530+ million tax cuts to the rich would lead to more jobs. I am confused.

  • Jed99

    I don’t see why they don’t make gorilla glass for smart phones and tablets. You have the technology, USE IT!!

  • kzpony

    It’s happening everywhere, the trickle down effect of greed on hard working people like you and I. The greed of the rich shareholders is far more important than a man or woman trying to make a living and feed their families. They have and always will ride out of any distressful situation hanging on to a golden parachute. One morning, at a major manufacturing plant in Richmond Virginia, 2500 people showed up for work one morning to be escorted to their desks by security and given 45 minutes to get their personal items and get out. They lost their pay, vacation pay, retirement benefits, insurance, in 45 minutes. There was virtually little they could do because the company was owned by German investors. But alas, the U.S. CEOs rode out on money that would have taken care of so many of these families for years. Every public company is really run for the greed of the shareholders.

  • Laid off

    This is the third layoff at corning this year!! They let 12 plus associates go early in the year only after letting them get to just there 90 days. In march they let 69 associates go plus 100 salaries. Now 165 associates and x amount of salaried jobs. There investments are moving overseas and concord. Stay away from corning… They are well know for there fluctuation in business which leads to high layoff, poor management. North Carolina needs to wake up and start giving more incentives/tax breaks to bring more companies to this state to give employment opportunities.

  • beach guy

    I thought all you corning laborers had union protection? I thought that is what you paid union dues for?


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