Thermo Fisher job loss update - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Thermo Fisher job loss update

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- 350 soon-to-be laid-off workers are slowly learning more information. Thermo Fisher announced yesterday it would close its Dubuque facility by the end of next September, phasing out jobs starting in January.

Now, plans may be in the works for severance packages. It's still quite uncertain for the employees we visited with, but many say their union went to bat for them Wednesday by trying to negotiate severance packages.

Employees tell us between half and two-thirds of them are members of the IBEW labor union. They also say the union leaders were in meetings with Thermo Fisher Wednesday afternoon to work out package details. No word from the union on any agreements made.

The company has said it will have severance packages in addition to career counseling and support from the company and state.

Employees have told us the company must give 60 days notice to employees of their lay-off date, but they don't know what order or how many people would be laid-off in each phase. Some workers said the first letters of 60-day notice would go out December 15. Others cited as early as November 1.

Also, they say they can't leave Thermo Fisher for a new job without giving up severance packages. That's something many are worried about because they say they can't get a job at their current level of pay with the skills they have. Many say they've worked at the company for a long time, and they can't survive on a single income or significantly lower pay.

The company has encouraged employees to apply for jobs at other Thermo Fisher locations, but many say they don't want to move away from Dubuque.

Employees say they will be forced to train their replacements. They tell KWWL the company would send Thermo Fisher employees at other plants to Dubuque to be trained on their jobs.

Employees say they were told this decision was months in the making. We've learned from our partners here at the TH that the city was making efforts to save the jobs and keep the company by offering Thermo Fisher an $18 million incentives package.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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