Hutchinson Tech Cutting Up To 40 Percent Of Workforce

HUTCHINSON, Minn. (WCCO) — Hutchinson Technology Inc. broke the news to its workers Tuesday morning that a number of them will not have jobs.

The company is a major employer in the town of Hutchinson, west of the Twin Cities.

A company statement released this morning says Hutchinson is reducing its U.S. workforce of 2,275 employees by 30 to 40 percent, eliminating as many as 900 jobs.

This will happen over the next 12 months, and the company says it will save between $40 million to $60 million a year.

Jill Jacobson is an employee and said this news will have a major impact on their community.

“This is going to be extremely painful, I think, because of the multiple layoffs, it’s reduced a lot of jobs in the area.”

Hutchinson Mayor Steve Cook received a phonce call Tuesday morning from a HTI spokesman.

“Obviously it’s a concern and it will be a challenge. We’ve been through it before with some of the other reductions that have happened,” he said.

In 2009, HTI cut about 1,000 jobs.

Cook says he’s been working to attract new businesses to the area and believes there still could be a future with HTI.

“They felt it was the best business decision to stabilize the company — which then in the long run will provide some future growth and opportunities that can have a positive impact on Hutchinson,” said Cook.

The company will move its operations to its facility in Eau Claire, Wis. Headquarters and research and development will remain in the town of Hutchinson.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO Interviews Employee, Mayor

  • Victim Du Juor

    Non-sense Tom – this cutting by Hutch began way back in the ’80’s. Add-drop – add-drop.
    The demand for their product had dwindled – HD capacity is so high now per platter that the components they make are not nearly in as high of demand. Frankly – they needed to change and modify the business model. They didn’t.
    Most people who know disk drives and trade stocks have been short selling this company for years for that reason.
    You really need to become informed before just spewing out the type of BS you did here. It’s not only just that – it actaully is about as uninformed and anti-American as it gets. You get off bashing for the sake of bashing maybe but do it were it is factual. I won’t call you an imbecile as ones actions speak louder than any words ever will. ;-)

    • Joe Hanson

      So what Operations are they moving from Minnesota to Wisconsin – BioMeasurement? And why?

      • Norge

        They built a whole new plant in Eau Claire in the 90s, moved a bunch of work from here to there and fired hundreds here, before that it was a new one in Souix Falls, anywhere but Mn. Eau Claire is running almost 24/7, have a step-son who works there, doing every other week-end and a ton of overtime. Why? Lower tax rates…period. Still it is only for the greed of the leadership, wish the booy would find a better company to work for….like Exxon even.

  • Ron

    Victim…spot on analysis… ideas and a limited product diversity won’t make a company. To bad for the City though. As far as “Tom”….taking a line from Shelly Bachman’s playbook, no original thoughts, end of story..

    • Cry Baby

      Everyone needs to suck it up and deal with this economy. This is America people! start taking charge and act as if! complain, complain, point fingers, complain. I bet more than half of you posting right now have bought or refinanced a home for more money than its worth. That is your own stupidity. Move on in the world and roll with the changes.

      • dphilips

        People like you are contributing to the soory economy The old selfish pull yourself up by the bootstraps mentality You Republicans!

  • gtV

    Tom, You are full of beans! There has to be other reasons than your making such inane obtuse statements such as these.

    It is easy to blame the President or this state in the heat of anger &/or political ignorance but haven’t read or heard the economy is getting better? [chuckle] Have you heard that MN folks like you have the answers to resurrect the present economy out of this Recession? And, have you heard the very folks you helped elect to the Legislature are “intelligently” and “concisely” working in political unison to make this state rise above the present budget deficit and be stronger for the long term? If you can’t answer these questions with authority and clarity then I know of some folks who want to sell you some Lutefisk futures stocks in Green Bay and Washington!!!

    Tom, this state and country is in an economic mess. A lot of folks, like you, are angry and expect easy instant solutions. The worst part of all this is that people expect things to happen without having to shoulder the responsibility to change their ways and practice what they believe.

    Your aforementioned comments may have some truth in them but blaming the President has nothing to do with the policies and sins of Minnesota state government. Think about it!

    • Truth hurts

      If it has nothing to do with Minnesota government than why move to Wisconsin? Taxes is one reason. Our high taxes are forcing a lot of companies to move elsewhere. Just listen to the advertisements they make for us to hear-We (Wisconsin, South Dakota, etc…) have less taxes.
      In the same way Washington is to blame, not just the president, but the the president also. This one and several others I can think of.

      • Don't distort the truth either ;-)

        Ever listen to what MN states in radio ads in other states? It’s always all about taxes. Free assistance in developing this-that, no tax zones, it’s done by them, by us, by everyone. Not anything different in the end than a store selling a loss leader item to get you in.
        As far as directly moving for taxes – you are crazy. No reason to – it would take forever to recover the cost of relocation. Now toss in that “freebie” to relocate to MY state and it’s different. Done everywhere by all — that, if one reloactes, is the WHY. Not unlike the threats from the Twins in past, the Vikings now. Give any business a huge carrot and …. c-yaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
        So should my tax dollar go to every company that threatens to relocate? Gads no – the MN state rate would end up 100% if they all played the game. Most don’t or won’t. Obvious reason as stated.

  • HTIex

    As a former employee, its too bad they couldnt move everything back to the orginial city of Hutchinson instead of moving out of state. They have lots of room in the building here in town. But– then again so many people have been burned by layoffs here, people would be hesitate to go back. I did not know they still had over 2000 people working for them.
    Their biomeasurement dept – I felt was an attempt to keep them afloat but apparently they are sinking faster than the Titantic.
    They did move some operations overseas to Asia about 2-3 years ago. With that move so many of us were already seeing the writing on the wall that our jobs were doomed. When they offered severance packages then, I took the money and ran without looking back.
    sure we could blame this on politics and economics and point fingers, but it alll comes down to a business that isnt able to move ahead and keep up with the changing world. It can happen to alot of places. I feel bad for those who were spared by the ax last time only to have it fall this time around.

  • fitswell

    boy the economy is really getting better, thats what they keep saying WHERE” not here more B.S. from the white house

    • Tom


      A couple of things you have too ask yourself instead of blaming the White House which would be a typical conservative response is this company really doing it because they are not getting the same demand that they have been getting? Or are the people at the top deciding that they have too cut the workforce so that their wallet doesn’t suffer?

  • jd

    This has nothing to do with how Minnesota treats business’ and everything to do with a company that has done absolutely nothing to diversify over the last 10-15 years. The article says R&D is staying in Hutch…Is there even a R&D Dept. at HTI? If so, what the hell have they been doing all these years?

    • TM

      Production Support.

  • shamoo

    come on where alre all you idiots who keep saying things are getting better ?? say what now????

    • john

      Companies have realized how to work without the uneducated like you. Its just business you know. More of this to come as conservative give outs to big business make it go else ware. Keep believing the republican pipe dream of cutting taxes creates jobs…

      Big business has literally tons of cash right now. They don’t need workers. they have realized how to work with less people.

  • Daniella

    Sorry to say but this company has been doomed for quite some time. The earliest I know of was in the 90’s, that is when my family lived there. They were handing out lay offs left and right. It is sad to see that it will affect the whole town but simply enough it has been shown that they are completely unreliable and most should try to look for jobs elsewhere before the get cut too. My family took a HUGE loss when my father was laid off. Simply heartbreaking. That said, this is loss of jobs is not totally related to the economy.

  • Norge

    This is a company whose leadership should be indicted on charges of greed and stupidity. They hire make a ton of $ for themselves then fire and two months later call people back for 20% less, or as they did at the turn of the century, fired hundreds then within weeks bussed in a thousand Somolians, let them pray and wash their feet every hour in their special built chapel and made everyone else cut their break-times and pick up the load. All this while the Somalians were telling my daughter that the day was coming when their children would play in the street with the bones of her children….action taken about this….nothing…its a diversity/cultural thing we have to be ‘understanding’ about. Then profits and quality and orders dropped and they got laid off also. The leadership lost their fortunes in Bernie Madoff (fact) and now they’re desperatly trying to reaquire wealth on the backs of their employees, they took big bonuses and salaries instead of any R&D to stay competitive, it has always been about the leaderships wealth and nothing else. Wish they would just die so all the people there can just move on and maybe someone else with a better business model can move in. The company deserves to die, to bad for the workers who placed their trust in the leadership of fools.

  • cjinspirations

    Not surprising to those of us who live here it was just a matter of when. I feel sorry for those who put all their eggs in one basket. Members of the same family is not a really good idea at one business. And all of those who were lured into thinking that their job would last. Another reason to commute to a larger community, the pay is better and lots more choice of employment than in a small town. Small towns will never be the same, say goodbye to the real middle class!

  • Norge

    This is a sad state of affairs where the failings of state government business policies combined with greedy,inept,greedy, short-sighted,greedy, ethically-challenged leadership come to a confluence that results in a whirlpool of failure….similar to….well…flush. Lots of talented, dedicated and insightful people tried to get the family leadership to listen and plan and R&D, but they were to busy writting themselves checks and sending them to Bernie Madoff to invest for them….what goes around comes around. Sorry to the trusting souls who were betrayed….. again.

  • Paula

    This will be an interesting dilemma to watch..Will more MN companies move elsewhere due to high taxes?

    • Johnny Rocker

      Your an idiot. Taxes for corporations are very low.

      • Josh Winfrey

        It is funny that you just called Paula an idiot and you didn’t even do it correctly! It’s not “your”, it’s “you’re. So really you’re the idiot, ha ha :)

      • SW MN guy

        Dear Johnny idiot-

        Why are the South Dakota border cities of Brandon, Sioux Falls, Brookings, Watertown and Fargo filled with former Minnesota businesses if it so good for them here in Minnesota?

  • Noel Petit

    The disk drive has been dead for 5 years. Medical technology is a good alternative, but this fancy stuff is bankrupting the health care industry. Not much future for HTI and it is surprising they held on this long.

  • not new

    Why is this news? This company lays off workers left and right and has for many years.

  • Silver Dollar

    This was probably the change Obama was talking about

    • Ralph

      They laid off during the Bush years also. For the White House to be controlling down to that level would be impossible. If indeed it is as an earlier poster said that what they are making is becoming out of date then as a whole the company will fade away.

  • mark binder

    Can someone explain why this company continues to lay off workers but the top management that has overseen this continuing fiasco for 15 years is still in place? I worked there when the current CEO took over and he took a good company and ran it into the ground yet still has a job. If he had any morals, pride or compassion he would hang his head in shame, publicly apologize and resign. Tipical that incompetant management reaps the rewards, everyday jane and joe bears the burden. Funny how no one blamed the government when this company was setting the world on fire, number one disk drive maker in the world, based in Minnesota with its ” poor business climate” for more than 25 years but as soon as it started to go bad all of a sudden it’s the states fault. Not really.

  • CB

    before this huge lay off my mom was moved to a different section of the plant and her schedule changed completely going from her regular on schedule to working every day with cut hours, then she told to take time off when she recently became ill.. just to get called back to work and told she’s not gonna have a job much longer
    i think its the dumbest thing they could ever do to the town and surrounding communities with as many people that work there. if the economy is supposedly starting to pick back up whats with the job decreases? just to go back into a recession that we just came out of??? POINTLESS! lets keep the jobs here where U.S. citizens need them to survive instead of trying to support other countries with our jobs.

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