More than a dozen Harris Broadcast employees were laid-off from the company's Quincy facility on Thursday, employees said.
"This is part of a company-wide reorganization," said Brian Galante, a spokesman for Harris Broadcast.
Galante could not confirm how many Quincy workers lost their jobs, but local employees told WGEM News that they knew of 13 job cuts.
"So far, layoffs have been part-timers," said one Harris employee who asked that his name not be used because he's still on the job.
"They're now cutting full time people. We just wait for someone to come by and tell us we're next," the worker said.
Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore said news of more job cuts in the city is concerning.
"We want our businesses here in Quincy to be flourishing, so when you have a number of people unemployed now, it's certainly disappointing," Moore said.
The Mayor said he is focused on preventing future job losses and putting the unemployed back to work.
Moore said he will work on communicating with those who are unemployed and under-employed to find how to keep the Quincy economy growing.
"We want to do everything we can to put them in a position where they can find a career in their next chosen field," Moore added.
Local economic development leaders say putting people back to work is achievable, but it might not be easy for laid-off workers to immediately re-enter the workforce.
"A challenge it presents is, depending on the skill sets those people have, there may be a need for them to get some retraining to do something in a different industry or in a different job task," said Marcel Wagner, the president of the Great River Economic Development Foundation.
Some of those cut from Harris' Quincy workforce on Thursday told WGEM News the company explained that it would no longer manufacture transmitters and other broadcast equipment based on forecasts, as was past practice. Instead, workers say, they will fabricate only after an order has been placed.
Quincy workers said it appears to them that their facility is restructuring to serve as a warehouse that handles small orders, such as repair parts.
Galante said the moves are not specifically related to the Quincy facility, but due to the global industry environment.
The Gores Group announced the purchase of Harris Broadcast in December 2012 for $225 million.
In an April interview with TVTechnology.com, Harris Broadcast CEO Harris Morris said the company had made several behind the scenes changes since the sale was finalized in February. He said those changes included about a 10% staff reduction throughout the company over the next year.
"What you're seeing in Quincy is part of that reorganization," Galante said.
Galante said he was unaware if the Quincy facility would see additional job cuts, but the Quincy worker WGEM News spoke with said everyone is uneasy.
"We're afraid there's just not going to be work here," he said.
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