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Newport Division of Rockwell to Lay Off 80 of 1,500 Workers

Times Staff Writer

A Rockwell International electronics division is laying off 80 of its 1,500 employees in Newport Beach because of slackening demand for a product that is widely used in facsimile machines.

Rockwell said the job reductions will be accomplished through layoffs, voluntary early retirements and voluntary leaves of absence.

Besides the 80 layoffs in Newport Beach, the division is cutting another 20 jobs at its other operations in the United States and overseas.

Rockwell’s Semiconductor Products Division manufactures devices called modems, which are used to transmit computer data or other information over telephone lines. The modems are widely used in facsimile, or fax, machines and with personal computers.

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Jim Bowen, division vice president and general manager, said fax sales have boomed the past several years, but have slowed in recent months as the market became oversaturated with products. Sales should rebound later this year as fax manufacturers bring new products to market, he said.

“We expect the market to regain its vigor later this year,” Bowen said.

He said some of the employees who leave the company through layoffs or voluntary leaves may be recalled if business picks up.


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