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Haas Automation lays off 200 workers amid wave of Ventura County job cuts

By   /   Friday, February 13th, 2009  /   Comments Off on Haas Automation lays off 200 workers amid wave of Ventura County job cuts

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Oxnard-based Haas Automation has told 200 workers they will be laid off, the company’s second round of cuts this year.

The reduction, announced Feb. 11, comes after a slew of other Ventura County firms shed jobs. SolarWorld Industries, Power-One, Bank of America and Amgen have all announced plans to cut positions.

Haas Automation makes machine tools and employed more than 1,500 people in Oxnard before a first round of cuts in January that shed 200 temporary workers. In a news release, General Manger Robert Murray said the most recent cut of 200 more workers was necessary because machine tool orders were down 62 percent compared to last January.

“This is an extremely difficult decision, but one that is absolutely necessary if Haas Automation is to remain competitive in the current machine tool market,” Murray said in the release. “We are seeing what appears to be the steepest decline in global machine tool demand in history.”

The release said employees will get full pay and benefits for 60 days, plus separation pay and help finding new work. Haas Automation spokesman Scott Rathburn said the company couldn’t comment beyond its news release.

The Haas Automation cuts come after Camarillo-based Power-One said in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it plans to cut 1,000 jobs. Power-One did not respond to a request for comment asking how many jobs, if any, would be eliminated in Ventura County.

SolarWorld Industries, which maintains a solar panel plant in Camarillo, told state officials it plans to cut 53 jobs. Bank of America told the state it plans to cut 50 jobs in Simi Valley.

Thousand Oaks-based Amgen is cutting 145 jobs as part of a move to contract out its facilities management and streamline its engineering department, company spokeswoman Sarah Rockwell told the Business Times. Rockwell said the affected workers will have the chance to apply for positions with the new contractor.

The latest reduction follows a cut of 64 jobs when the company contracted out some of its information technology positions earlier this year.

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