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Corning cuts to impact Wilmington plant

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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.

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