ABB Cuts 25% of Workforce at Virginia Power Grids Plant

ABB Cuts 25% of Workforce at Virginia Power Grids Plant

Reports by Reuters and the South Boston News & Record state that ABB laid off 113 of its employees at the South Boston, Virginia small electrical transformers plant last week, idling nearly a quarter of the local workforce, citing a global slowdown in demand.

The Swiss company said it was reducing the workforce at the small transformers plant in South Boston, Virginia, by 113 workers, citing a downturn in global demand.

The site, part of the power grids division which ABB is selling to Hitachi in a $11 billion deal, employed a total of 467 people.

“The remaining 75 percent of the local workforce will continue to contribute to the future production of transformers used in the power industry,” a spokesman said. “ABB has taken this decision to become a leaner and more competitive organization in South Boston.”

An ABB U.S. spokesman told South Boston News & Record the cuts were due to a global slowdown in demand for transformers.

“Due to a global slowdown in transformer demand, the ABB Power Grids business is reducing the number of employees at its South Boston, Virginia location,” said Christopher Shigas, ABB director of external communications, United States, in a statement emailed last week. “Eligible employees will have access to severance benefits, job placement assistance, and may be able to relocate to other ABB locations.

“This business decision is in no way related to the performance of the local team and we are committed to supporting the employees throughout this process. The South Boston facility continues to be important to the ABB Power Grids business,” Shigas stated.

The company said the South Boston cuts were not related to the divestment of ABB Power Grids’ business to Hitachi, which is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

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