Reporting Bree Sison
WESTBOROUGH (CBS) – One by one, about a dozen people showed up to the Ameridose facility in Westborough on Friday, only to be turned away the door.
NECC, located in Framingham, is tied to tainted steroid injections thought to be the cause of a nationwide meningitis outbreak. More than 400 people have been sickened and 31 have died.
Though Ameridose is not accused of any wrongdoing in the outbreak, the company closed a month ago and recalled all of its products while authorities investigated NECC.
For the Town of Westborough, the layoffs could put a dent in its growing economy.
“We’ve added about 3,000 jobs in the past few years,” said Town Manager James Malloy. “To have a big chunk of that disappear really quickly would be a big setback.”
Ameridose is calling the layoffs temporary. In a statement Thursday, a spokesman said the goal is to resume operations as quick as possible.
Malloy believes the pharmacy supplier could reopen as early as next month and that manager could just be looking out for employees with the layoff.
“Under the situation where they were just told not to come back to work, they wouldn’t be eligible for unemployment leading up the holidays,” said Malloy.
Ameridose paid nearly $114,000 in personal property tax to Westborough last year. A permanent shutdown would mean a much greater loss for the community.
“They hire locally, Malloy added. “During the summer months, they hire kids from a high school to work in packaging. They’ve been a good company to have here in town.”
Since 2009, the Westborough facility has grown from 125 employees to about 650 employees. Nearly all were laid off this week in addition to 140 employees at its marketing and support arm.