Pharmaceutical manufacturing giant Abbott Laboratories today laid off 300 workers at its Temecula plant where vascular implants are made.
"We expect an additional several hundred layoffs at the facility over the course of the year,'' Abbott Labs spokeswoman Adelle Infante told City News Service. She said the pink slips were issued in response to anticipated declines in orders for the Promus cardiovascular stent, which Abbott makes in partnership with Boston Scientific.
According to Infante, Boston's next-generation stent, Xienc, is expected to reduce demand for Promus, components of which are manufactured at Abbott's Temecula unit, which employs around 3,000 people.
Nationally, the company is slashing a total 700 jobs because of restructuring, Infante said.
In its fourth-quarter earnings report, released today, the Illinois- based medical products firm highlighted a per share earnings growth of 12 percent, with worldwide sales up 4 percent.
Infante said Abbott's workforce reduction has nothing to do with the company's split, which is expected to be completed by year's end.
According to Infante, all laid-off workers will receive severance packages and receive first consideration when and if positions open up in other segments of the company.
The downsized workers must be qualified to work in the other sections, Infante said.
"I'm very disappointed to hear that Abbott's shrinking its workforce ... and 300 families will be in economic jeopardy because their loved ones have lost their jobs,'' said Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone, whose district encompasses Temecula.
"Hopefully these workers can find jobs that are commensurate with their skills,'' he told CNS.
"The county's doors are open for them and anybody else who needs help finding work.''
Stone said the county's four Workforce Development Centers provide a plethora of resources for job-seekers, including matching prospects with recruiters and offering re-training services.
The supervisor added that the county's "nagging'' 12.5 percent unemployment rate won't improve much, and jobs will continue to leave the county and state, until regulatory burdens are lifted and taxes are reduced.
"Hopefully we'll see some dramatic changes with keeping jobs and attracting businesses here after the November elections,'' the supervisor said.