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Cameron lays off 38 workers at Cheektowaga plant

Cameron International Corp. has laid off 38 hourly workers at its plant on Broadway in Cheektowaga.

Two sources familiar with the cuts who asked not to be identified said the cuts stemmed from a slowdown in production activity. They said the plant still has about 310 hourly workers, along with about 300 salaried employees.

The laid-off workers are expected to be called back when activity picks up, the sources said.

Jeff Altamari, a Cameron spokesman, declined to comment, saying the company does not discuss internal operations. The Cheektowaga facility designs and makes air and gas compressors for applications including industrial plants.

In late January, Houston-based Cameron said it was exploring options – including possibly a sale – of its centrifugal compression business, a segment which includes the Cheektowaga facility. Cameron has already agreed to sell a different business segment, its reciprocating compression unit, to General Electric Co. for $550 million.

The Cheektowaga plant was once the home of Joy Manufacturing. In 1987, Cooper Industries bought Joy and formed the Cooper turbocompressor division. The parent company changed its name to Cameron from Cooper Cameron in 2006.

Companywide, Cameron reported profits of $724 million in 2013, down 3.5 percent from 2012. It had revenues of $9.8 billion, which was a record high and was up 16 percent from the year before.