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TMCNet:  Illinois employers plan to lay off 600 workers [Chicago Tribune]

[October 07, 2014]

Illinois employers plan to lay off 600 workers [Chicago Tribune]

(Chicago Tribune (IL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 07--Eight Illinois employers warned that they will lay off about 600 workers by early 2015, according to notices filed with state regulators.

Microsoft and Nokia will cut 91 jobs at an office at 425 W. Randolph St. in Chicago. Layoffs will occur there Nov. 17. Microsoft recently bought Nokia's mobile phone unit and in July, Microsoft said it planned to cut up to 18,000 jobs over the next year. That amounted to a 14 percent reduction overall but a nearly 50 percent cut of Nokia's mobile phone unit. As of September 2013, Nokia had about 1,200 employees in its downtown Chicago office.


Hibu Inc., a U.K.-based publisher of directories and mailing lists, is closing its Effingham location, where 32 jobs will be lost in November.

Jim's Formal Wear is closing in Ottawa beginning in November, putting 58 people out of work by late January. Based in Trenton, Ill., the family-owned tuxedo rental company was founded in 1964 and is run by its third generation. Its website describes itself as "the largest wholesale formalwear rental company in the world," serving more than 5,000 menswear stores and bridal shops. It has 10 service centers, including one in Ottawa.

Brett Bircher, Jim's director of sales and marketing, explained that his company's biggest customer has been Jos. A. Bank; Jim's biggest rival has been Men's Wearhouse. Because Men's Wearhouse recently bought Jos. A. Bank, Jim's is losing a large piece of business. To remain profitable, Jim's must close three of its 10 service centers, including the one in Ottawa, Bircher said.

Also sending pink slips is Anchor Coupling Inc. The maker of fluid-power valves and hose fittings told the state that it's relocating and closing its Dixon facility starting in November, with the 123 layoffs expected to be complete by year end.

Professional Transportation Inc., which provides crew services to railroads, lost a Union Pacific contract, which will result in closure of facility in Cahokia, affecting 138 workers. Professional Transportation, based in Evansville, Ind., serves Union Pacific elsewhere in its system, spokesman Steve Greulich said. Most of the affected workers will be picked up by the company that got the business, he said.

Ball Metal Beverage Packaging is closing in Danville, resulting in the loss of 45 jobs at the metal can manufacturer.

Pp Il LLC, a plastics products-maker, is closing, causing the loss of 82 jobs in Lockport.

Olin Corp. also told the state it would lay off an additional 63 workers in East Alton.

The Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires employers to provide 60 days' notice of pending plant closures or mass layoffs. The law applies to businesses with at least 75 full-time employees. It defines a mass layoff as job cuts at a single site during any 30-day period of at least 33 percent of workers and at least 25 employees, or at least 250 employees regardless of the percentage byerak@tribune.com Twitter @beckyyerak ___ (c)2014 the Chicago Tribune Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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