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Canton Corning plant lays off 12 workers

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DEKALB JUNCTION - A dozen production and maintenance employees have been laid off at Corning Inc.’s Canton plant, including six who agreed to take a voluntary layoff.

The specialty glass plant on McAdoo Road, town of Dekalb, was forced to adjust staffing because product demand has dropped,” Joseph M. Dunning, a Corning spokesman, said.

Six employees agreed to take a voluntary layoff that took effect Monday. Another six were notified Monday that their layoff takes effect Oct. 1, he said.

“This is sort of following the ebb and flow of the industry, of the market,” Mr. Dunning said Tuesday. “Periodically, there are changes in workforce numbers and that’s driven by demand.”

The Canton facility makes high-fused silica glass for the semiconductor industry which supplies microchips for computers, cell phones and other electronics. Orders come from around the world, including Japan and Germany. Other products made at the plant include radome for the defense industry and aerospace windows.

Mr. Dunning declined to specify which products are seeing a drop in demand.

The semiconductor industry is cyclical. Over the past several years, the fluctuations have caused job layoffs at the Canton plant that were followed by hirings.

In spring 2011, the plant employed about 200 hourly and salaried employees.

“When the demand is high, you hire more employees. When the demand slides, you decrease,” he said. “In Canton and some of our other facilities, this occurs from time to time. Sometimes the demand for product dips a bit, what customers want and when they want it.”

He said company officials do not expect more layoffs will be coming down the pike soon at the Canton plant.

“We don’t anticipate any other layoffs at this time, however, Corning will continue to monitor conditions and adjust our workforce accordingly,” Mr. Dunning said.

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