Local News

MCI Lays Off Dozens of Cary Employees

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CARY — MCI WorldComis laying off 150 people in Cary. Workers got the news Friday morning. The layoffs are part of an effort to cut millions of dollars in expenses.

Layoffs are an uncommon occurrence in the Westin Parkway area, which is home to many high-tech jobs, such as the 2,000 at MCI.

The layoffs affect employees in technical and engineering positions, jobs they had too many of after the merger with WorldCom.

The people who got pink slips are highly skilled workers, and one expert says they are not likely to stay unemployed for long.

"Businesses are desperate to find people, and I would expect that these folks who were laid off will have very little trouble finding jobs," saidN.C. StateEconomist Mike Walden.

But for months now, since MCI's September merger with WorldCom, employees have been worrying some layoffs might be coming.

Friday, the ax fell.

The laid-off employees will be paid through the end of the year, then offered severance packages based on how long they've been with the company. Some may eventually be hired for other positions within MCI.

MCI officials at the local office could not comment on-camera. They referred WRAL to their corporate headquarters, where they say they are creating some jobs as a result of the merger.

Company officials say they are creating new jobs in Internet and data services, and that some of the laid-off employees might eventually be re-hired in those positions.

MCI is the latest Triangle area company to lay off workers. But other job cuts came from the manufacturing sector, where companies are often dependent on weakened foreign economies.

Mitsubishi Semiconductor shut down in November, the Champion textile plant in Dunn will close in March, and Nortel announced layoffs in September.

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Stephanie Hawco, Reporter
Rick Armstrong, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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