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Estee Lauder To Shut Down Oakland, N.J. Plant, Lay Off Workers

Estee Lauder products (credit: www.elcompanies.com)

Estee Lauder products (credit: http://www.elcompanies.com)

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OAKLAND, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Dozens of Estee Lauder employees working in the company’s Oakland, N.J. offices are expected to be laid off, officials announced.

The Estee Lauder Cos. announced it is moving its operation out of northern New Jersey. The 148,000-square-foot plant will be shut down and its fragrance bottling operation will move to existing facilities in Melville on Long Island or Bristol, Pa.

The fragrance company, which has been in Oakland since the 1970s, will lay off 85 employees and will offer 31 other workers a transfer to the plants on Long Island or in Pennsylvania, according to information the company sent to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The job cuts are scheduled to take effect on April 4, according to the company.

In a statement, Estee Lauder said “The company considered staying in New Jersey.” But the statement went on to say, “the opportunity to increase collaboration with other Melville-based operations and the impending lease expiration made this the right time to move.”

Oakland Mayor Linda Schwager told the Bergen Record newspaper that the move is a hit to the community.

“I’m not pleased. I’m afraid of loss of jobs,” she told The Record.

“It all comes down to finance and economics – what’s best for the company,” Schwager added. “It’s going to trickle down and hurt everybody, employees, residents, taxpayers, everybody is going to be affected.”

Estee Lauder was required by federal law to report its planned move the to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The WARN Act requires companies in some instances to provide local and state government with 60 days’ notice of layoffs.

According to the statement, Estee Lauder said some of the laid off employees will be offered severance pay.

Two other companies – DRS Technologies and Raymour & Flanagan – have in recent months moved their operations out of Oakland, The Record reported.

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