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Baxter to cut one-third of jobs at Medina location

Baxter International will cut nearly one-third of its workforce at its Orleans County plant.

The health care products giant will cut 131 of 421 jobs at the Medina location, according to a notice filed with the state Department of Labor. The cuts are expected to start Dec. 2 and wrap up in the first quarter of 2019.

Baxter said it is moving maintenance and repair of its Spectrum infusion pump to a centrally located facility in Illinois.

"This decision follows a thorough analysis of how to best meet patient needs and ensure continuous, convenient and timely supply for our customers around the country," said John O'Malley, a company spokesman.

The company will provide outplacement services for affected employees and "will support employees who are applying for open positions throughout the Baxter network, in Medina or elsewhere," O'Malley said.

The job cuts will not impact manufacturing of Spectrum infusion pumps at the Medina location, O'Malley said.

Baxter established its connection to Medina in 2009, when it entered into an agreement for a 40 percent equity stake in Sigma International General Medical Apparatus in Medina. The $100 million deal included exclusive global distribution of Sigma's infusion pumps and an option to buy the remaining 60 percent of the company.

Sigma, which had bought a former Fisher-Price factory in Medina in the mid-1990s, had about 230 employees at the time of the Baxter deal. Baxter in 2012 followed through on buying the remaining 60 percent of Sigma, with a $90 million cash payment.

Baxter, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Illinois, recorded second-quarter profits of $343 million on sales of $2.8 billion.

Baxter's six years of complete ownership of the Medina location have been marked by growth and cuts at different points.

Baxter's Medina location laid off 91 workers in 2013, which reduced employment to 370 employees. The size of the work force had rebounded since then, but will now drop to nearly 300, when the latest cuts take effect.

Orleans County in July recorded an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent in July, down from 6 percent a year ago, according to the state Labor Department. The effect of Baxter's cuts on the jobless rate probably won't be felt for some time, since the reductions are not set to begin until the end of the year.

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