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California

Toshiba to Lay Off 500 From Irvine Manufacturing Staff

February 06, 2001|KAREN ALEXANDER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Toshiba America Inc. said Monday that it will eliminate 500 assembly and engineering jobs at its computer manufacturing operations in Irvine, shifting much of that work to plants in Asia.

The layoffs amount to about 25% of the work force at Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., an independent unit of Toshiba America.

Nearly all of the cuts will come from the 800-person manufacturing and engineering staff, leaving the marketing and corporate functions intact.

Company officials said that plans to consolidate operations have been in the works for about 18 months, and that the cuts are not directly related to a softening market for personal computers, which have resulted in numerous layoffs at other companies.

"It's just a question of where things are assembled, where they are glued together," said Joe Formichelli, executive vice president of the company's Computer Systems Group in Irvine.

The facility, which opened in 1987, assembles desktop and portable computers and data servers for the U.S. and Latin American markets. That work will now be done at plants in the Philippines and Japan.

Formichelli said the move is to consolidate operations closer to parts suppliers in Asia. The layoffs will be completed in two months.

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