Celestica cuts half its workforce in Oklahoma City

Thursday, July 25th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The Celestica Inc. plant in Oklahoma City has announced it will cut about 500 jobs _ half its work force _ by the end of the year.

The cuts are related to staff reductions announced Tuesday by Lucent Technologies, company officials said. Workers were told Wednesday that by the end of the year, the plant's printed circuit assembly jobs will be moved to other Celestica sites.

``This impacts a significant number of people and we regret this,'' said Steve Delaney, senior vice president of Celestica's U.S. east region. ``We've investigated a number of alternatives, but in order to be able to achieve the cost reductions our customers had to have, we just needed to make this consolidation.''

Celestica is one of Lucent's many suppliers. In September, Lucent sold its Oklahoma City operations to Celestica, which makes computer and telecommunications equipment.

Plant workers continued to build circuit boards for telecom digital-switching equipment, and under Celestica's ownership those products were supplied to companies such as Lucent.

Lucent on Tuesday posted a fiscal third-quarter loss of $7.9 billion and said it will cut 7,000 jobs. Last week, Celestica said its adjusted net earnings for the second quarter were $69 million, down from $93 million during the same period in 2001.

Bryan Flickinger, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1599, said the 50 percent cut ``really surprised me. It's a little deeper than I expected.''

``Folks out here have been through a lot in the last 18 months. It's really taking a toll on us,'' he said.