Sony to cut up to 900 workers in Pa.

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NEW STANTON, Pa. -- Sony Technology Center-Pittsburgh expects to lay off as many as 900 workers this year, or about 75% of its work force, as it shifts production from rear-projection televisions to liquid-crystal display models.

Between 200 and 300 people at the Westmoreland County plant were told of the planned cuts Thursday. The first round of layoffs will begin in April, with the rest expected this summer.

Production of flat-screen, 46-inch Bravia LCD sets, which will begin this summer, is more automated than for rear-projection, micro-display sets, said Rick Clancy, a spokesman for Sony Electronics Inc.

Production of the rear-projection sets will move to a plant in Tijuana, Mexico, he said. The decision was based on "severe price erosion" in the rear-projection category, he said.

The Sony Technology Center-Pittsburgh site is the company's only U.S. television production plant, employing between 1,100 and 1,200 people, Clancy said.

The plant will also serve as Sony's eastern U.S. television distribution center, but Clancy could not say how many jobs that would bring.

Other operations, including a chemicals facility and a customer service center, will continue at the site.
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