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Lemont

Argonne of Lemont to lay off 50 employees

LEMONT – Argonne National Laboratory will lay off about 50 employees in early 2014 in order to reach the 120 employee staff reduction announced in November.

According to Argonne Media Relations Manager Steve McGregor, about 70 employees took the lab's buyout offer, which was also announced last month.

McGregor said the staff cuts amount to 1.4 percent of the lab's 3,400 employees.

"We don't know yet where those cuts will take place," he said. "We are conducting a review of those various operations."

McGregor said the layoffs are a proactive step in response to uncertainty about the funding the lab will receive from the federal government.

"We've advocated and will continue to talk for the need for sustained research funding," he said.

Wes Prucnal, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 742, said he is waiting to see what the lab determines about where cut employees.

He said he knows if the lab waits to make the layoffs, they could have to make larger cuts later.

Still, he said, it is sad that the lab has to make these reductions due to the uncertainty of federal funding.

"If scientists don't see a future in here, they will go to a different lab and a different environment," he said.

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