EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) - 150 former Hasbro employees who were temporarily laid off, found out this week their jobs in East Longmeadow have been permanently eliminated.
22News I-Team reporter Ryan Walsh talked with one of those former employees today.
Some of these union workers have been out of work for a year. Yesterday, the 150 or so affected employees got their final termination notice in the mail. I talked with one former employee. He didn't want us to use his name or show his face on camera.
"We have our seasonal shutdown every year, around Christmas. This year they laid us off earlier in October and they kept bumping back our lay off date. Then we received a letter saying you have no more job, no health insurance", says the former employee.
A red flag was raised when these employees weren't asked to come back this spring, but when the final notice came this week, it gave them very little time to get their lives in order.
"When did you receive the letter in the mail and when does your health insurance run out?", asks Ryan Walsh.
"I received it by Fed Ex yesterday and it runs out midnight tonight", says the former employee.
These former employees will receive a severance package from the toy and game maker. It gives them a half weeks pay for every year they've been with the company. But they have to pay back their health insurance since they've been laid off.
"I really wish they had told us, maybe at the beginning of the month, hey at the end of the month you'll be out. This isn't something they just thought up yesterday. That would have been nice", says the former employee.
In October, Hasbro Vice President of Corporate Communications Gary Serby told 22News they had hoped to hire the employees back by the end of January 2012.
In response to these most recent actions, Serby sent the 22News I-Team this statement.
In part it says, "In 2012, The East Longmeadow facility has been operating very efficiently.
Hasbro expects this to continue, which means we will not be recalling certain employees who have been out on temporary layoff."
"I had a feeling that we weren't coming back, I've slowly seen the company decline, departments laying off, laying off", says the former employee.
Serby told the 22NEWS I-Team, the East Longmeadow plant has about 330 union employees and in the past several years Hasbro has invested around $25 million dollars into the East Longmeadow facility to improve productivity.
Below is Hasbro's complete statement to 22News:
HASBRO, INC. STATEMENT
As the gaming category continues to evolve, Hasbro's efforts and workforce are focused on a wide-range of initiatives across multiple platforms in both traditional and digital gaming. In 2012, the East Longmeadow, Massachusetts facility has been operating very efficiently with a manufacturing and distribution workforce of approximately 330 union employees. Hasbro expects this facility will continue to operate at this level of employment, which means that we will not be recalling certain employees who have been out on temporary layoff. This difficult, but necessary decision impacts approximately 150 laid off union employees, some of whom have been out for over a year. Union leadership joined in discussions with Hasbro regarding severance for the impacted employees, and both parties agreed that a severance offering would be made to all affected employees.
Over the past several years, the Company has invested approximately $25 million into the East Longmeadow facility in order to improve productivity. The long-term goal of this investment is to help ensure that the facility remains competitive and responsive to customer demands for our gaming products.