I-Team 10: Experts say this is crucial week for B&L employees

Posted at: 08/05/2013 5:40 PM
Updated at: 08/05/2013 8:24 PM

What is going to happen to hundreds of people who work for Bausch and Lomb when the sale to Valeant Pharmaceuticals is closed? This could be a crucial week for the future of B&L.

On Wednesday, the company releases its second quarter earnings and because of that, our financial expert George Conboy and Mark Peterson of Greater Rochester Enterprise -- two of the people tracking this sale -- have always pointed to this week as one to look out for when it comes to potential layoffs.

Now, jobs at B&L will be cut. Valeant has said so.

In a letter to employees, Valeant's CEO said he wants to cut 10 to 15 percent of the worldwide workforce when Valeant merges with B&L. And last week, former Rochester Mayor and current Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy said he was told by the company that a third of the Rochester employees will be gone.

That's about 500 to 600 people.

But beyond that, Valeant isn't showing its hand, not even to the current mayor.

Brean: Have you gotten any indication from Valeant about the likelihood of layoffs and how many here?
Mayor Tom Richards: I don't have any information other than the information that's been publicly disclosed. I know the Lt. Gov. Indicated it could be as many as 500 people. But I don't have any better information than that, no.  
Brean: What about a timeline? When it would happen?
Richards: I don't have any better information about that either. They only thing I do know is that to the extent of the people involved in headquarters aspects of it, that will happen very soon.

Valeant's conference call about it's earnings is Wednesday and we're going to be listening in. Late today, Valeant spokeswoman Laurie Little said the purchase of B&L still hasn't closed.

If you are a Bausch and Lomb employee who does get laid off, we'd like to hear from you.

Contact the I-Team at 232-1010.

Bausch and Lomb was founded in Rochester 160 years ago and is one of the former big three. But today it's the city's 13th largest employer with 1,700 workers.

Kodak still employs more people then B&L. So does the local YMCA.