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Job Cuts at “Lighthouse for the Blind”

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Sequestration cuts claim more jobs in the St. Louis area. This time blind workers are affected. Twenty legally blind and four sighted workers at “Lighthouse for the Blind” have been laid off.

One of them is Brian Hallows. He’s 54 and had been with the company for 20 years. He was hoping to retire with Lighthouse.

“I thought with twenty years seniority, I’d be good, I’d be safe. Well, come two o’clock Tuesday afternoon they called me into the office and told me that I would be one of the select twenty that will be laid off.” said Hallows.

The company based in Overland with an operation in Berkeley supplies medical and other products for the military. 82 workers remain on the job, but Hallows says the company is shutting down four warehouses nationwide. He adds “it sounds like we’re not coming back.”

Hallows says he hoped to work with the company until retirement but now he’s upgrading his resume.

The St. Louis Business Journal reports the company, being a non-profit, does not pay the state for unemployment benefits but will pay laid off workers 67% of their wages for the next 20 weeks.

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