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New York Air Brake workers facing layoffs are “highly sought after”

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 5:32 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Help might be on the way for the 125 workers losing their jobs at New York Air Brake in Watertown.

The layoffs start in January, but finding another job could happen sooner.

The WorkPlace Executive Director Cheryl Mayforth says she started fielding phone calls shortly after the news broke Wednesday - phone calls from Jefferson County manufacturers looking for qualified workers.

“These workers will be highly sought after in our community,” she said.

Mayforth declined to specify which manufacturers reached out, but she says The WorkPlace will work with the affected employees to help put them in similar jobs.

Mayforth says the ongoing labor shortage works in their favor, too.

“For them, the labor market looks very optimistic,” she said.

On Wednesday, New York Air Brake announced it’s cutting 125 of its 400 jobs as it winds down manufacturing at the Watertown facility. New York Air Brake is opening a new plant in Mexico and shifting production to three other U.S. locations.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is the union that represents the workers.

In a statement, a representative ripped the decision saying, “It’s shameful that this profitable company is ending the careers of these dedicated employees.”

Another union official said, “We will continue to work on behalf of the more than 125 workers affected by a decision that will have a devastating impact on our members, other workers in the plant, and the Watertown community.”

The union is sending a representative to the plant Friday to meet with workers and discuss the situation.

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