The employees at JS McCarthy Printers, the Augusta-based commercial printer, were sent home.
Reno Cyr Sr., a longtime associate, wrote about the layoff on Monday afternoon on Facebook:
“Today I was fired from work. I’ve been her for almost 24 years! The printing industry has been hit hard by COVID-19. JS McCarthy Printers did it and survived many ups and downs. Even expanded and offered a wide range of services. We exceed the expectations of our customers and employees treat themselves like family members. Unfortunately, JSM had no choice but to return to a massive forced layoff. At least I have my health, my knowledge, my pride, my drive and my ambition. Our company has not bring people out. When the waves of people went, we said goodbye (sic) and were very lucky. All I can do is apply for unemployment, cut the budget and enjoy my time until employment starts at JSM or another company. I wish my colleagues good health, good luck, and hope to see you in about a month. Keep hope and faith, Reno. “
Cyr, 56, who was reached by phone Monday at his Skowhegan home and works in the bookbinding shop, said many workers had been laid off.
“It’s kind of bad,” he said. “We can only try to understand what our owners are going through.”
He said a skeletal crew of managers stayed with the company.
JS McCarthy officials declined to return requests for comment.
“We have completed email addresses so the company can send us more information,” said Cyr, “and important information for filing unemployment claims.”
He noted that many of the company’s employees have worked in the commercial print shop for decades.
JS McCarthy isn’t the first central Maine company to lay off workers.
On Thursday, the Huhtamaki paper mill in Waterville announced the layoff of 102 workers, citing the decline in demand for school dining trays and plates due to school closings across the country as a result of slowing the spread of the highly contagious and dangerous coronavirus. what causes COVID-19.
On March 17th, JS McCarthy posted a statement on his blog about the measures the company has taken to ensure the safety of its employees:
“The entire JS McCarthy team is committed to supporting our customers in this unprecedented time. We are overseeing the CDC guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic while working to manage the supply chain for our customers supporting the essential needs of people around the world. The health and safety of our employees is our top priority and we are taking steps to ensure they stay safe during this challenging time.
“Our SQF-certified (Safe Quality Food) production hall is limited to key employees and mission-critical contractors who must follow all hygiene procedures. If a press screening is required, we have a designated office as well as a security log to accommodate such visitors, provided they have passed our basic screening questions. Such customers cannot access the production area. We are closed to all non-essential visitors at this time. We also limit or eliminate business and personal travel as recommended by the CDC as it evolves. “
At the end of 2019, the company announced the creation of an employee participation plan with effect from September 1, 2019.
“In the past few years we have built one of the most efficient and well-equipped print shops in the country,” said Rick Tardiff, chairman of JS McCarthy. “As a result, many companies approached us looking to buy JS McCarthy. I have viewed many of these offers as a way to get out of business, and my thoughts kept returning to how a sale would affect my family, employees, and our community. After carefully examining all of the options, our family decided that the best way to continue doing business in the future is to start an ESOP, an employee-owned company. This means that each of our employees will benefit from the continued success of JS McCarthy. ”
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