Union workers at Corning Inc.’s Canton plant have been asked to take unpaid voluntary layoffs because of a slowdown in customer demand for some products produced at the factory.
A notice posted at the plant Tuesday came less than three weeks after company officials broke ground on a $21 million expansion project that’s supposed to create 40 new permanent jobs.
“We’re hoping this is just a bump in the road,” said James H. Ridgeway, north country representative for the United Steelworkers, the union that represents about 130 hourly workers at the Canton plant. “We find it kind of ironic that this comes after they announce a big expansion.”
Company spokesman Joseph R. Dunning said the expansion will allow the company to increase the supply of products where customer demand is on the upswing. Those include specialized glass products for the Department of Defense and the aerospace industry.